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WHO Reverses Appointment of Robert Mugabe as 'Ambassador' After Outcry

October 22,2017 16:25

LONDON — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday reversed its controversial appointment of Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe as a “goodwill ambassador” following outrage from donors and human rights groups. WHO Director-General ...


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been removed as goodwill ambassador by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The UN's healthcare branch announced that it had reversed its decision on Sunday following outrage among donors, governments and human rights groups at his appointment.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who made the appointment at a high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases in Uruguay, said in a statement that he had listened to those expressing concerns.
"Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment," Dr Ghebreyesus said in a statement. 
"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.
"It is my aim to build a worldwide movement for global health. This movement must work for everyone and include everyone."
Zimbabwe is known for its human-rights abuses and is subject to international sanctions.
Mr Mugabe regularly consults doctors abroad, while he has been accused of running his healthcare system into the ground. People in Zimbabwe are often forced to buy necessary drugs before going to hospital to seek medical treatment.

Announcing the appointment on Friday, Dr Ghebreyesus had said Mr Mugabe was chosen for the role because of the strength of Zimbabwe's healthcare system.
"I am honoured to be joined by President Mugabe, of Zimbabwe, a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide healthcare to all," Dr Tedros said in an address to the conference."

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