The Government of the Faroe Islands has publicly announced that it has applied for associate membership in the World Health Organization. Full membership in the WHO is reserved for sovereign states, but autonomous countries and territories can become associate members.
According to Minister of Health Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, membership in the WHO will not only strengthen the Faroese health sector, but the Faroe Islands also has something to offer the international community.
The tiny island nation has been at the forefront in testing and contact tracing during the pandemic, clocking up more tests per capita than reportedly any other country in the world. Extensive research has also been conducted regarding Covid-19 in the Faroe Islands.
“WHO is crucial, not only to improve direct access to the most recent knowledge but also to share our own results and experiences,” the Minister of Health was quoted as saying in a statement released on February 1st by the Government of the Faroe Islands.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has made it even more relevant to become part of the international community with our own voice in the WHO,” Mr. Johannesen added in the statement, titled Faroe Islands seek active role in World Health Organization.
Subject to the same political obligations as full members of the WHO, associate members have access and speaking rights at committee meetings and at the General Assembly. They may submit proposals however they do not have a vote.
The Faroe Islands already has associate membership in three other UN bodies: IMO, the FAO, and UNESCO.