Tedros, the first African to lead the WHO, was re-elected on Tuesday. Accepting a second term in tears as he remembered his humble upbringing. As a “child of war” and called for peace.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African to lead the WHO. Was re-elected on Tuesday, accepting a second term in tears. As he remembered his humble upbringing as a “child of war” and called for peace.
His re-election was announced with applause during the annual general meeting of the World Health Organization. After receiving a two-thirds majority secret ballot, as required by the nomination.
The UN health agency did not provide a report, but sources inside the chamber said they had received 155 of the 160 votes.
“I am very happy with the support,” Tedros told the meeting.
“I am really proud to be a WHO.”
Ethiopia’s former health and foreign minister has become a global face. As he leads the global response to the COVID-19 epidemic.
A 57-year-old malaria specialist has also been warning of a number of conflicts such as the Ukrainian war over global health.
‘Hopefully peace will come’
After accepting his re-appointment, Tedros made an enthusiastic and personal request for peace.
In a trembling voice, he revealed that he too was “a child of war … from a poor family”.
He remembers the conflict at a young age, and he also lost his younger brother. To an illness for not receiving treatment.
“The fact that I survived was just a coincidence. It could have been me, I would have died more than 50 years ago,”. He explained, describing how the strong emotions of the time receded during a recent visit to Ukraine.
“When I saw the children, it was a picture from over 50 years ago that came to my mind, it seemed, very painful. The smell of war, the sound of war, the image of war,” he told World Health. Meeting.
“That’s what I don’t want to happen to anyone. So I hope peace will come.”
Tedros, who also expressed growing grief over the ongoing conflicts in his Tigray area since late 2020. Warned that a separate world could not cope with the mountain of emergencies and the challenges ahead, including the epidemic.
Peace is “a necessity for life”, he said.
That is the message he intends to push as he prepares for a second five-year term from mid-August.
His first term in office was turbulent, as he faced a global response to the epidemic and a long series of other issues, including the sexual harassment scandal involving WHO staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
While Tedros faced his share of criticism, he received widespread support.
African countries are particularly pleased with the attention given to the continent and. Its relentless drive for poor countries to achieve a fair share of COVID goals.
Since the arrival of US President Joe Biden at the White House, Tedros has also enjoyed support in Washington.
That marked a major turning point since the beginning of the epidemic. When Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump began to exclude the United States from the WHO. Accusing him of being a Beijing doll and helping cover up the first COVID outbreak.
Surprisingly, the main source of opposition came from Tedros’ own country.
Annoyed by his comments about the deplorable human condition in Tigray. The Ethiopian government accused him of “abusing his office”. To promote propaganda.
On Tuesday, representatives of Ethiopia and Eritrea, whose troops reportedly fought with Ethiopian government troops in Tigray. Expressed opposition as Botswana tried to congratulate Tedros on behalf of African countries.
But they appeared to be on their own, with all the regions and a series of countries, including the United States and Russia. Congratulating him warmly on his re-election.
There are no shortage of challenges ahead. As the COVID-19 epidemic is still rampant and requires major changes across the global health system to help avoid similar threats going forward.
In his congratulatory statement, US Assistant Secretary of State Loyce Pace commented on the challenges ahead.
“The truth is, there is still a lot of work to be done to make the WHO modernized. So that it can work better and faster,”. He said, promising support at a time when “the entire global health system is under pressure.”