WHO Partners Establish Official Relationship

Geneva – WHO’s Executive Board today welcomed the Carter Center, Inc. and the NCD Alliance into official relations with WHO.

The new status, to be ratified at the World Health Assembly in May, enables these valued partner organizations to engage more directly with WHO processes; they may participate at sessions of WHO governing bodies, propose agenda items and organize side
events as a non-State actor.

The Carter Center is a WHO contributor and a recognized pioneer in the fight against neglected tropical diseases. Since 1986, the Carter Center has worked with WHO and other partners to eliminate Guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis).

The collaboration has so far reduced the annual incidence of the disabling parasitic infection from 3.5 million cases in 1986 to just 15 cases in 2021.

Founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Atlanta-based Emory University, the Carter Center is also widely recognized for championing mental health. At the 75th World Health Assembly in 2021, WHO
Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus presented Rosalynn Carter with the Award for Global Health to recognize her lifetime achievement in working on behalf of mental health issues.

“Thanks to the Carter Center’s support and partnership for more than 35 years, Guinea worm disease has been driven to the brink of eradication,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Entering into official
relations is a natural extension of our longstanding collaboration. We look forward to continuing and deepening our work together on neglected tropical diseases and noncommunicable diseases.”

The NCD Alliance, founded in 2009, is a global civil society movement that spans more than 80 countries, addressing common risk factors to health including air pollution, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and the harmful use of alcohol and tobacco,
and seeks solutions for cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, mental health and neurological disorders and other noncommunicable diseases.

The Carter Center and the NCD Alliance were welcomed into official relations with WHO today. Above: In 2013, a health worker participates in the successful effort to eliminate Guinea worm disease in South Sudan. @WHO/G. Ritlewski

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