Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt
Overview of the case
Having considered a possible transfer from Alexandria of the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the World Health Assembly in May 1980 submitted a request to the Court for an advisory opinion on the following questions :
“1. Are the negotiation and notice provisions of Section 37 of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the World Health Organization and Egypt applicable in the event that either party to the Agreement wishes to have the Regional Office transferred from the territory of Egypt ?
2. If so, what would be the legal responsibilities of both the World Health Organization and Egypt, with regard to the Regional Office in Alexandria, during the two-year period between notice and termination of the Agreement ?”
The Court expressed the opinion that, in the event of a transfer of the seat of the Regional Office to another country, the WHO and Egypt were under mutual obligation to consult together in good faith as to the conditions and modalities of the transfer, and to negotiate the various arrangements needed to effect the transfer with a minimum of prejudice to the work of the Organization and to the interests of Egypt. The party wishing to effect the transfer had a duty, despite the specific period of notice indicated in the 1951 Agreement, to give a reasonable period of notice to the other party, and during this period the legal responsibilities of the WHO and of Egypt would be to fulfil in good faith their mutual obligations as set out above.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.