In a press release published on the WHO website, the director-general said :
"Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment." Dr. Tedros
Dr. Tedros, the first African to hold the WHO post, rescinds the Goodwill Ambassador appointment of Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe.
Director-general Dr. Tedros said he had “listened carefully” to all those who expressed concerns:
I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns, and heard the different issues that they have raised. I have also consulted with the Government of Zimbabwe and we have concluded that this decision is in the best interests of the World Health Organization."
Zimbabwe’s healthcare system collapsed under his watch, according to critics.
Mugabe, 93, one of the longest serving leaders in the world, seems a particularly unusual appointment for goodwill ambassador.
For me, Dr. Tedros explains, what is important is to build political leadership and create unity around bringing health to all, based on WHO’s core values.
On final note, Dr Tedros thanks "everyone who has voiced their concerns and shared their thoughts," and said that he "depend on constructive debate to help and inform the work I have been elected to do."