Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the sole candidate to lead the World Health Organization (WHO) once his current term expires, the UN agency announced on Friday.
“A single candidate was proposed by Member States by the Sept. 23, 2021, deadline: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus," the WHO said in a statement, adding that he secured the backing of 28 countries.
The former health and foreign minister of Ethiopia, who has been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, was elected to the WHO leadership in 2017, becoming the first African candidate to head the leading public health agency.
The formal appointment of the next director-general will take place at the 75th World Health Assembly, the organization's annual meeting of member states, in May 2022 by secret ballot, and his new five-year term will begin in August.
The countries that nominated the 56-year-old are Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Cook Islands, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Oman, Portugal, Rwanda, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Tonga, and Trinidad and Tobago.