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WHO DG Tedros Revokes Appointment Of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe As Goodwill Ambassador After Experts, Governments Express Outrage, Confusion

Associated Press: World Health Organization revokes appointment of Mugabe
“The head of the World Health Organization revoked his appointment of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe as a ‘goodwill ambassador’ on Sunday after the choice drew widespread outrage and criticism. Zimbabwe’s government said it respected the turnabout and that the U.N. health agency ‘benefited tremendously’ from the attention…” (Mutsaka, 10/22).

The Hill: World Health Org rescinds Mugabe appointment after U.S. criticism
“… ‘Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment,’ WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said in a statement. … The State Department ripped the appointment in a statement to the Associated Press on Saturday, saying ‘this appointment clearly contradicts the United Nations ideals of respect for human rights and human dignity’…” (Manchester, 10/22).

New York Times: WHO Removes Robert Mugabe as ‘Goodwill Ambassador’
“…On Wednesday, at a global conference in Uruguay on noncommunicable diseases, Dr. Tedros, an Ethiopian and the first African to lead the United Nations’ health agency, said he was ‘honored’ to be joined by Mr. Mugabe, 93, and appoint him an ambassador. Dr. Tedros said the leader could use the role ‘to influence his peers in his region’ when it came to fighting noncommunicable diseases — such as heart attacks, strokes, and asthma — in Africa…” (Joseph, 10/22).

POLITICO: WHO removes Zimbabwe’s Mugabe as goodwill ambassador
“…Tedros, a former Ethiopian foreign affairs minister and the WHO’s first director general elected directly by member countries, previously said Zimbabwe ‘places universal health coverage and health promotion at the center of its policies to provide health care to all.’ But critics argued that Zimbabwe’s health care system has collapsed under Mugabe’s 30-year rule…” (Gurzu, 10/22).

Reuters: Mugabe removed as WHO goodwill envoy after outrage
“…Jeremy Farrar, a global health specialist and director of the Wellcome Trust charity and the NCD Alliance, representing health groups combating chronic diseases, welcomed the reversal. ‘Dr. Tedros deserves all our support to ensure he and WHO build a global health movement that is inclusive and works to improve health for everyone,’ Farrar said in a statement…” (Nebehay et al., 10/22).

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