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Ambassador: Attacks on WHO candidate are defamatory, ‘colonial’


The African Union (AU) delegation to the United Nations came in outspoken numbers to a press briefing yesterday to express unshakable support for the Ethiopian candidate to be the next head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Asked about recent allegations in the press about Tedros’ part in a coverup of cholera epidemics in his country, the African ambassadors said those were defamatory allegations, done in desperation by a nervous competing candidate.

Without citing which of the other two candidate that might be, an African ambassador said such attempt at destabilising the candidate reflects a “colonial mentality.” Tedros, as he is known, was not at the press briefing.

The election is expected to take place on 23 May, the second day of the annual World Health Assembly (IPW, WHO, 12 May 2017).

Described by a group of African ambassadors as being in best position to implement needed reforms at the WHO, and having a unique mix of scientific and diplomatic skills, Tedros was also said to be the best choice for the WHO. The ambassadors explained they are on a campaign to support Tedros, and are approaching other ambassadors.