WHO chief reverses Mugabe ambassador appointment

www.thelocal.ch | 10/22/2017 | Staff
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"Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for (Non-communicable diseases) in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment" the head of the UN agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a statement.

Tedros, who took charge of the Geneva-based WHO in July, said he had "listened carefully" to those who condemned the decision and spoken to the Harare government.

Decision - Interests - World - Health - Organization

"We have concluded that this decision is in the best interests of the World Health Organization."

Tedros had announced the appointment earlier this week during a speech in Uruguay, where he praised Zimbabwe as "a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all".

Activists - Health - Experts - Key - WHO

But activists, public health experts and key WHO donors like Britain, Canada and the United States swiftly denounced any prospective role for Mugabe, saying Zimbabwe's healthcare system has collapsed under his 37 years of authoritarian rule.

Tedros said on Sunday his goal was "to build political leadership and create unity around bringing health to all."

WHO - Boss - Pressure - Decision - Voices

The WHO boss had faced mounting pressure to reverse the decision, including from some of the leading voices in global public health.

"The Mugabe appointment, coming at the end of (Tedros's)...
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