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Swiss Minister for Home Affairs Alain Berset opened the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva today, attended by an estimated 3,000 delegates.
Berset said the World Health Organization has the potential to improve the lives of people on this planet.
He said the WHO needed to continue taking a leading and coordinating role among global health actors.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan is expected to speak this afternoon.
The assembly continues until May 26 and will address a number of issues including reform of the WHO, UN Millennium Development Goals and nutrition.