Ambassador Smail Chergui, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security has lauded Ethiopia’s former foreign minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom, for his sterling performance during his reign as the country’s top diplomat.
Chergui also wished the former diplomat success in his bid to become the next Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). He has been said to have the backing of the AU in his bid to replace Magaret Chan, the current WHO boss.
Tedros Adhanom, was not included in a new cabinet list presented by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, the move is to allow him to focus on his campaign for the post of head of the global health body.
In his place, Workneh Gebeyehu, who was formerly Transport Minister is now Minister of Foreign Affairs. The AU chief further extended congrats to Tedros’s replacement and added, ‘‘We look forward to continuing excellent relations with the AU Commission’s host country.’‘
Ethiopia’s foreign affairs has had a lot of issues in the recent past with most European nations and diplomats calling for restraint from state security in severe clampdown on anti-government protesters.
Dr. Tedros will compete with five other candidates proposed by Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the position. The election of a new WHO boss has been necessitated by the imminent exit of Margaret Chan.
Member States proposed the following candidates along with Dr Tedros:
- The Government of Italy has submitted the nomination of Dr Flavia Bustreo;
- The Government of France has submitted the nomination of Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy;
- The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has submitted the nomination of Dr David Nabarro;
- The Government of Pakistan has submitted the nomination of Dr Sania Nishtar;
- The Government of Hungary has submitted the nomination of Dr Miklós Szócska.
The Director-General is WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer and oversees the organization’s international health work. The current Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, was appointed in 2006 and will complete her second term on 30 June next year.
Between 1-2 November, a forum will be held for candidates to present their visions to WHO member states, and the public, and answer questions from Member States on their candidacy.