Tedros is Sole Nominee For Next WHO Director-General
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The incumbent Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is the sole nominee for his position, which will be decided upon at the 75th World Health Assembly in May 2022. 

With the backing of 28 member states, Tedros is likely to be re-appointed unopposed as the deadline to submit nominations was 23 September. 

Tedros, who was the first African to become the chief of the WHO., was nominated by Germany after his home country,  Ethiopia, rejected nominating him for a second term, according to Reuters report. 

A former health and foreign minister of Ethiopia, Tedros has been accused by the Ethiopian Army Chief of supporting rebels in the conflict zone of Tigray in northern Ethiopia. Tedros is from Tigray. This tension is likely to have been the reason why only three African countries backed his re-appointment.  

Since his election in 2017, Tedros has risen to more prominence in 2020 for his response and communication on the Covid-19 Pandemic. As a Director General, he is the chief technical and administrative officer. If re-elected, it will be his last term as the WHO chief since an incumbent Director-General can be re-appointed only once. Each term is for five years and the next term will begin in August 2022. 

Even though Germany called for support for Tedros’s nomination last month, the US, China, and the UK have not endorsed him, as per documents on the WHO website. 

Relations between the US and Tedros soured during former US President Donald Trump’s term, while China’s cold shoulder to Tedros may be traced to July 2020 when he asked China to provide more raw data on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and had asked them to be more “transparent and open and to cooperate”. 

“After witnessing up close the world’s response to the pandemic, I have a unique understanding of the dynamics that have brought us to where we are, and a deep commitment to making the global system fit for purpose, with WHO at its centre,” Tedros said in his written statement to the WHO in response to his nomination for re-appointment. 

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