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January 1, 1992

1992 Could Be Pivotal Year in Efforts to Improve Health of People Everywhere

JAMA. 1992;267(1):15-23. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480010023002

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THIS MAY be the most challenging year yet for the United Nations.

The same could also be true for the World Health Organization, an autonomous unit with in the United Nations system that numbers 196 Americans—including Assistant Director-General Ralph H. Henderson, Md—among its staff of 4689.

At United Nations headquarters, New York, NY, a new secretary-general—Boutros Boutros Ghali, JD, of Egypt—takes office today.

At the very least, Ghali and colleagues face a world calling on an under-financed United Nations to provide increasing humanitarian aid, peacekeeping forces, and solutions to problems exacerbated by rapidly changing international relationships. These challenges promise to get this new year off to a turbulent beginning, with the United Nations likely to receive more attention and have a more pivotal role than perhaps ever before.

The World Health Organization also is a good bet to be increasingly in the international spotlight in connection with its seemingly overwhelming