**Kim Jong Un’s regime, known for its gross human rights violations, has been elected to the WHO Executive Board. Critics argue this undermines the credibility and effectiveness of the global health organization.**
Communist North Korea is a nation notorious for its human rights abuses, including forced labor, political prison camps, arbitrary detention, and public executions, coupled with restrictions on freedom of expression and collective punishment. The regime’s negligence towards the basic needs of its own citizens is appalling as its people die of starvation while billions are spent on nuclear weapons. Despite this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has elected North Korea to its Executive Board.
The Executive Board, composed of 34 technically qualified individuals in the field of health, is elected by member states for three-year terms. Dr. Jong Min Pak, Director of the Department of External Affairs, Ministry of Public Health in Pyongyang, has also been elected as one of the executive boards. North Korea’s election to WHO’s Executive Board raises concerns about the credibility and effectiveness of the organization, which is already facing scrutiny for its handling of global health crises.
International human rights lawyer Hillel Neuer argues that the UN should have set the right signal by referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court, rather than electing it to an organization responsible for setting standards in global health. Scores of North Korean regime actors should be investigated and prosecuted for committing some of the most heinous crimes against humanity.
**The inclusion of North Korea in the WHO Executive Board highlights a pressing need for reflection and reform within the organization.**