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The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the forum through which the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its 193 member states. It is the world's highest health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from member states.

The main tasks of the World Health Assembly are to approve the WHO programme and the budget for the following biennium, and to decide major policy questions.

The WHA has, currently, seven observers - the Vatican, the Palestinian Authority, the Order of Malta, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Chinese Taipei (see the following paragraph).

The Department of Health of the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, was invited on 28 April 2009 to participate in the forthcoming WHA 2009 as an observer. The invitation was extended to "the Department of Health, Chinese Taipei."[1][2]

In 2009, the World Health Assembly President, Guyana's Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy, condemned Pope Benedict's call for ending condom use in the fight against AIDS, saying he was trying to sow confusion. [3]

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