LONDON: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was reappointed to a second five-year term on Tuesday by the U.N. health agency’s member countries. No other candidate challenged Tedros for the post amid the ongoing difficulties of responding to the devastating coronavirus pandemic. “This is overwhelming,” Tedros said, after another World Health Organization official asked everyone in the room to stand and applaud him. Fighting back tears, Tedros described himself as “a child of war” after signing the contract for his extension. He said that after witnessing his younger brother’s death at an early age, it was “luck (that) brought me all the way here.” Tedros, a former government minister from Ethiopia, has directed WHO throughout its management of the global response to COVID-19 and withstood occasionally withering criticism over its multiple missteps. –Agencies
He is the first African to lead the agency and the only director-general not qualified as a medical doctor.
He is also the first WHO leader not to be supported by their home country; Ethiopia has previously accused Tedros of “ misconduct ” after his sharp criticism of the war and humanitarian crisis there and raised concerns about his leadership on Tuesday.