The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of WHO, which is attended by delegations from all WHO member states. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed budget programs.
In May, 2007, The World Health Assembly (WHA) guided to consider and adopt “different approaches depending on national conditions” when implementing the pilot recommended measures to eliminate asbestos-related diseases.
In Agenda item 12.13 – Global Action Plan of the WHA – about workers’ health indicated clearly that no prohibition is imposed on chrysotile: “WHO will work with Member States to strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Health to provide leadership for activities related to workers’ health, to formulate and implement policies and action plans, and to stimulate intersectoral collaboration. Its activities will include global campaigns for elimination of asbestos-related diseases – bearing in mind a differentiated approach to regulating its various forms – in line with relevant international legal instruments and the latest evidence for effective interventions, as well as immunization of health-care workers against hepatitis B, and other actions addressing priority work-related health outcome“.
When conducting this campaign, WHO and ILO cooperated to draft “Outline for the Development of National Programmes for Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases”. This Outline was then adopted without consulting with Government representatives and consultants from member states. This results in the misunderstanding from the “elimination of abestos-related diseases” to “prohibition of using asbestos”.
Currently, there are some campaigns targeting the Government of Vietnam to implement the National Action Plan to eliminate asbestos-related diseases in order to eventually prohibit the use of asbestos without taking into account former scientific researches which have been carried out around the world and in Vietnam.