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WHO Goodwill Ambassador Misstep Should Not Affect Agency’s Reform Efforts

McGill International Review: WHO Let Mugabe Out? Political Pressure and the Future of the WHO
MIR author Maddie Clark discusses WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ appointment and withdrawal of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador. Clark writes, “Multinational forums are often infuriating, but they do have potential for reform; WHO is no exception. This was displayed in the quick revocation of the ambassador appointment: a politically motivated selection was forgone at the behest of the general public. There remains much to be done before WHO can become once again ‘the directing and coordinating authority on international health work,’ but the timely removal of Mugabe from consideration for a goodwill position does not appear to have set the organization even farther back on their quest for redemption” (11/9).

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