Political organization

Tedros re-elected head of the World Health Organization

Member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday re-elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for a second five-year term as director general of the world’s top public health agency.

A first election in 2017, his re-election by secret ballot, was confirmed during the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva. He was the only candidate.

The vote was the culmination of an electoral process that began in April 2021 when Member States were invited to submit nominations for the position of Director General. the WHO The Executive Board, meeting in January this year, nominated Dr Tedros for a second term.

His re-election was greeted with wide and loud applause from Ministers and others at the Assembly in Geneva. According to reports, he received 155 votes out of 160, although he did not win the support of his native Ethiopia, due to opposing views on the Tigray conflict.

The new term of the WHO chief officially begins on August 16. A Director General may be reappointed once, in accordance with the rules and procedures of the World Health Assembly.

“Humbled and Honored”

In a tweet after the vote, Tedros said he was “humbled and honoured” by the vote of confidence, adding that he was “deeply grateful for the confidence of member states”.

“I thank all the health workers and my colleagues at WHO around the world,” he continued, saying he looked forward to “continuing our journey together.”

In remarks after the vote, he said his re-election was a vote of confidence in the whole of WHO, adding: “it’s for the whole team”.

He acknowledged the pressures and attacks from “many sides” during the pandemic, saying that despite the insults and attacks, he and the organization always kept an open mind and did not take it personally.

“We need to focus on health promotion… number two, we need to focus on primary health care” and thirdly he cited the importance of emergency preparedness and response, depending on the first two priorities.

Transformation

During his first term, Tedros instituted a far-reaching transformation of the WHO, the agency said in a press release, “aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the Organization by driving impact at the countries to promote healthier lives, protect more people in emergencies and increase equitable access”. for health.”

Tedros guided the WHO’s response to the unprecedented crisis COVID-19[feminine] pandemic, where it has at times been criticized, including by former US President Donald Trump, who made the decision to withdraw the US from the WHO – a decision since reversed.

The WHO chief also led the response to the outbreaks of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and headed the agency that deals with the health impacts of several other humanitarian crises, most recently the war in Ukraine.

Ministerial career

Before being appointed WHO Director-General for the first time, Dr Tedros served as Ethiopia’s foreign minister between 2012 and 2016 and health minister before that, from 2005.

He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board; and as Co-Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board of Directors.

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