By Associated Press - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

GENEVA (AP) - The Latest on the World Health Organization’s new chief (all times local):

11:50 p.m.

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemaraim Desalegn, said the election of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to head the World Health Organization is a big achievement for Africa and proves Ethiopia’s growing role on the world stage.

Foreign Minister Workineh Gebeyehu said Tedros of Ethiopia is expected to repeat in the global arena the “amazing achievements” he attained back home.

The 185 voting members of the WHO’s Assembly elected Tedros on Tuesday over Britain’s David Nabarro and Sania Nishtar of Pakistan.


9:15 p.m.

The new head of the World Health Organization says his “central priority” will be working to achieve universal health coverage, while pledging to “provide value for money” and reform the U.N. agency.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia thanked WHO’s Assembly after its 185 voting members elected him Tuesday over Britain’s David Nabarro and Sania Nishtar of Pakistan.

Tedros, who goes by his first name, spoke out about diversity and the importance of listening. He vowed to focus on the most needy and noted the importance of effective partnerships with health care providers.

He said “all roads lead to universal health coverage. This will be my central priority.” Only about half of the world’s population has access to health care “without impoverishment.”

While he acknowledged it was “challenging times for global health,” Tedros pledged that “we will innovate and measure our progress by clearly-defined outcomes.”


7 p.m.

Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former minister of health, has been elected the next leader of the World Health Organization.

Tedro defeated Britain’s Dr. David Nabarro, a U.N. veteran, in the final round of voting on Tuesday.

He will be the first non-medical doctor and the first African to lead the U.N. health agency.

He succeeds China’s Dr. Margaret Chan, who has been at the helm of WHO for 10 years.

Tedros led all three rounds of voting and won 133 votes in the third round to Nabarro’s 50. There were two abstentions.

The third candidate, Pakistan’s Dr. Sania Nishtar, was eliminated after the first round.

Ethiopian delegates could be seen hugging and high-fiving each other after their countryman made it to the second round, which Tedros went on to win.


6:15 p.m.

Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former minister of health, is leading the race to head the World Health Organization after two rounds of voting.

Delegates, health ministers and other high-level envoys were deciding Tuesday between Tedros and Britain’s Dr. David Nabarro, a U.N. veteran, to be the U.N. health agency’s next director-general.

The third candidate, Sania Nishtar, was eliminated in the first round of voting.

In the second round, Tedros won 121 votes to Nabarro’s 62.

The election now moves to a third round of voting; Tedros must win two-thirds of the votes to win the post.

He was the only non-medical doctor in the election and is aiming to succeed China’s Dr. Margaret Chan, who is ending a 10-year tenure at WHO’s helm.


5:10 p.m.

Pakistan’s candidate to lead the World Health Organization, Dr. Sania Nishtar, has been eliminated after the first round of voting.

Nishtar was among three candidates vying to replace outgoing chief Dr. Margaret Chan.

The two remaining candidates are Britain’s Dr. David Nabarro, a U.N. veteran who has led past responses to pandemic flu and Ebola and Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former health minister.

Tedros was ahead after the first round, winning 95 votes. Nabarro had 52 votes and Nishtar 38. There are 185 countries eligible to vote.


3:30 p.m.

Pakistan’s candidate to be the next director-general of the World Health Organization, cardiologist Dr. Sania Nishtar, said she decided to go into public health after being told the hospital where she worked would start using recycled catheters for patients who couldn’t pay.

In her remarks Tuesday to the World Health Assembly, who will soon vote to choose the U.N. health agency’s next leader, Nishtar cited her past experience leading non-governmental organizations, saying that would help her bridge the numerous polarizing situations in public health.

Like the other two candidates, Nishtar promised to make WHO accountable, saying she was credited for bringing transparency to public health when she was a minister in Pakistan.

She says “I will come to your countries not to cut ribbons but to work with you.”


3:20 p.m.

A U.N. veteran who is Britain’s candidate for the top job at the World Health Organization says he knows “how the kitchen works in the United Nations.”

Dr. David Nabarro delivered his last pitch for the job of WHO director-general moments before its assembly was to choose between him, Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Dr. Sania Nishtar of Pakistan.

Speaking to the delegates, Nabarro said “the health of 7 billion people rests in your hands” and acknowledged that some have felt “let down” by WHO and want it to be “more relevant, responsive and reliable.”

He added: “Under my leadership, it will be.”

Nabarro cited lessons from the Ebola crisis that “speed and flexibility” are needed, but above all WHO should be “competent and dependable.”


3:10 p.m.

The president of this year’s World Health Assembly opened this afternoon’s proceedings by calling for a minute of silence to remember the victims of the Manchester bombing attack.

In the final phase of the race to elect the WHO’s next leader, the three remaining candidates are making their last pitches Tuesday.

First to speak was Ethiopia’s candidate to lead the World Health Organization, former minister of health Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ghebreyesus said it was “pure luck” that he was competing in the race to be its next director-general, noting that when he was seven years old, his younger brother was killed by a childhood disease and it could just as easily have been him.


Corrects this entry to say that he was seven years old.


1:15 p.m.

Health ministers, diplomats and other high-level envoys are set to choose the next director-general of the World Health Organization among three finalists.

As it stands, 185 member states attending WHO’s World Health Assembly are eligible to cast ballots Tuesday afternoon. Nine others are either in arrears on their dues or not represented at the 10-day gathering.

The candidates are Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a 52-year-old former government minister in Ethiopia; Sania Nishtar, a 54-year-old cardiologist and former government minister from Pakistan; and David Nabarro, 67, a physician and longtime U.N. official from Britain.

The winner will succeed Dr. Margaret Chan, who’s ending a 10-year tenure.

The U.N. agency’s chief has considerable power to set global medical priorities and declare health emergencies, such as outbreaks of the Zika or Ebola viruses.

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