Policy decisions as to what WHO should (or should not) do will be made by Member States. In principle WHO has to be prepared to help countries address any threat to their people’s health. Situations will arise when WHO takes the lead on specific issues. But usually WHO provides technical support to national authorities as they address specific health issues: in these situations WHO may also serve as a catalyst, facilitator or convener. This calls for strategic leadership that is both confident and effective – to define priorities, support those responsible for implementation and establish the roles of different actors.

Global stewardship is important. It means drawing on the strengths of All of WHO. As Director General I will encourage each of the levels of WHO to contribute according to their respective strengths, ensuring clear delineation of responsibilities and accountability for the use of resources. I will do this at all times in conjunction with the Regional Directors and their teams.