A new Director-General for the WHO will be voted on by UN Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May. It is the first year that the vote is open to the organization’s entire 194 country membership instead of just the Executive Board. Following in this spirit of transparency, we at GBC Health thought it might be interesting to offer our partners the opportunity to have an early vote on the final three candidates.
Candidate Statement: A visionary leader, he guided Ethiopia and numerous global health organizations to achieve game-changing results and increase their impact. An experienced reformer, he transformed Ethiopia’s health system to expand quality care and access to tens of millions of Ethiopians, and helped key global actors like The Global Fund and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. And, a skilled diplomat, his collaborative, context-specific, and solutions-oriented approach to global health and international relations is respected worldwide.
Our world has changed. Today, we face unprecedented health threats – from pandemics, to antibiotic-resistant infections, to climate change. We need a strong and effective World Health Organization to meet these challenges. As Director-General, Dr. Tedros’ vision, collaborative approach and proven effectiveness will help WHO better protect the health of all people.
Our world is challenged by a changing climate, violent conflict, persistent poverty and mass migration. The benefits of globalization and new technologies remain unequally shared. As a result, people face an ever-growing avalanche of threats to their health. I have worked on such issues for over 40 years. As I see it, the need for a robust, reliable and responsive World Health Organization has never been more urgent.
All my professional life I have been working in public health – as a community-based practitioner, educator, public servant, director, diplomat and coordinator. In the past 12 years, successive Secretaries-General of the United Nations have entrusted me to lead collective action on pressing and complex challenges – responding to avian and pandemic influenza, promoting food security, ending malnutrition, combating Ebola, promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and advancing efforts relating to climate change.
I want to be sure that WHO is in a position to be the undisputed leader on all health issues. WHO must constantly strive for excellence in people’s health and health systems everywhere. WHO should, through its Member States and collaborating centres, nurture fullest attainment of people’s health in all communities. WHO’s performance should lead it to be recognized as the world’s specialized agency for health, earning and maintaining trust of governments, communities and people.