World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is running for a new term with opposition from his own country instead of another candidate.
Ghebreyesus laid out more plans Tuesday to fight the virus as he pitched his case for a new five-year term and faced severe criticism from his own country — Ethiopia — over his comments about the embattled Tigray region, Persecondnews.com gathered.
Tedros, a 56-year-old Malaria specialist, has the support of the U.S., but his home country of Ethiopia does not support him.
Tedros, who is from Tigray, called for “unfettered” humanitarian access to Tigray, where the WHO can help people facing severe hunger due to the war. WHO has not been allowed to go to Tigray or to send any aide since July 2021.
Ethiopia’s government in a news release on January 14 said they sent a letter to WHO accusing Tedros of “misconduct” after his comments, according to the AP. The government also accused him of “not living up to the integrity and professional expectations required from his office.”
Legesse Tulu, an Ethiopian government spokesperson, said on January 24 a WHO official indicated investigating Tedros would be postponed.
“If this is the case,” Tulu told the AP, “It really shows the partiality of WHO. It opposes its basic principles of foundation. We still insist on this esteem organization to investigate the case.”
Ethiopia also claims Tedros is an active member of Tigray’s People’s Liberation Front. Tedros did not mention any of Ethiopia’s comments during his speech.
“Five years ago, you, the member states, gave me the honor of my life when you placed your trust in me to lead and transform this vitally important global organization,” Tedros said during his speech Tuesday. “I told you then that my priority was to listen. And that is what I have tried to do. I remain completely committed to serving your member states and your people.”