GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – The Planet Health Organization (WHO) should overturn its decision to appoint Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe like a goodwill ambassador, global health leaders stated on Saturday, describing the move as unjustifiable and wrong.
Britain stated Mugabe’s appointment was “surprising and disappointing” and added it risked overshadowing the WHO’s global work. The U . s . States, that has enforced sanctions on Mugabe for alleged human legal rights violations, stated it had been “disappointed.”
“This appointment clearly contradicts the U . s . Nations’ beliefs in respect for human legal rights and human dignity,” a U.S. Condition Department spokesperson stated.
“This selection underscores why the U . s . States is constantly on the push for U.N. reform and leadership actions that uphold our shared U.N. ideals.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the appointment in a high-level meeting on non-communicable illnesses (NCDs) in Uruguay on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by Mugabe, 93. He’s blamed in the western world for destroying his country’s economy and various human legal rights abuses throughout his 37 years leading the nation as either president or pm.
Inside a speech, Tedros recognized Zimbabwe as “a country that places universal coverage of health and health promotion in the center of their policies to supply healthcare to all”.
The previous Ethiopian health insurance and foreign minister, who had been elected last May as WHO’s first African director-general, added: “Today I’m also honored to announce that President Mugabe has decided to function as a goodwill ambassador on NCDs for Africa to help his peers in the region you prioritized NCDs.”
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe gestures because he attends the second Session from the Nigeria-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission in Pretoria, Nigeria October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
However the NCD Alliance, addressing 28 worldwide health groups trying to combat chronic illnesses, stated it had been “shocked and deeply concerned” to listen to from the appointment, given Mugabe’s “long history of human legal rights violations”.
Jeremy Farrar, a number one global medical adviser and director from the Wellcome Trust charitable organization also stated the choice was “deeply disappointing and wrong” and known as on Tedros to become brave and reverse it.
“Robert Mugabe fails in each and every method to represent the WHO should are a symbol of and individuals that Dr Tedros has was for since becoming DG and it has done over a long time,Inches Farrar stated. “Brave leaders are prepared to listen, re-think and overturn bad decisions, this really is one particular situation,” he stated.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier stated the WHO chief had made the move seeking broad support for that agency’s work.
“Tedros has frequently spoken of his determination to construct a worldwide movement to advertise high-level political leadership for health,” he stated by e-mail.
Human legal rights activists also belittled the move.
Hillel Neuer, executive director from the Geneva-based group United nations Watch described the selection by WHO, a Un agency as “sickening”.
“The government of Robert Mugabe has brutalized human legal rights activists, crushed democracy dissidents, and switched the breadbasket of Africa — and it is health system — right into a basket-situation,” he stated.
He noted that Mugabe themself had traveled to Singapore for treatment three occasions this season instead of his homeland.
Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in GENEVA, Kate Kelland working in london and David Brunnstrom in WASHINGTON Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Nick Zieminski
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