Redefinition of WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region began
within just a few years, when Greece and Turkey were transferred
to the Europe region. Territories in North Africa and the Arabian
Peninsula joined the Eastern Mediterranean region during the 1950s.
Morocco preferred to be assigned to Europe following its independence
(in 1956), shifting to the Eastern Mediterranean only as recently
as 1986. Ethiopia was moved to the Africa region in 1977; Algeria
followed in 1984.
Israel entered WHO in 1949, but the Arab League refused to cooperate
with Israel, a conflict that was finally resolved in 1985 by transferring
Israel to the Europe region. The PLO applied for membership in WHO
in 1989, but the U.S. threatened to cut funding to WHO and financial
aid to any country supporting the PLO’s application. As of
2005, Palestine had not been accepted as a WHO member.
Sources: Handbook of
Resolutions and Decisions of the World Health Assembly and the Executive
Board, Volume 2, 1973-1984 (Geneva: WHO, 1985), 254; Handbook
of Resolutions and Decisions of the World Health Assembly and the
Executive Board, Volume 3, 1985-1989, 2nd ed. (Geneva: WHO,
1990), 96; Javed Siddiqi, World Health and World Politics: The
World Health Organization and the UN System (Columbia, SC:
University of South Carolina Press, 1995), chs. 11, 13, 16; "Regional
Office for the Eastern Mediterranean," World Health Organization,