WHO chief selects Zimbabwe's Mugabe as 'goodwill ambassador'
GENEVA (AP) — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has long faced United States sanctions over his government’s human rights abuses. But the World Health Organization’s new chief is making the longtime African leader a “goodwill ambassador.”
With Mugabe on hand, WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus told a conference in Uruguay this week on non-communicable diseases that he’d agreed to be a “goodwill ambassador on NCDs.”
Tedros, an Ethiopian who became WHO’s first African director-general this year, said Mugabe could use the role “to influence his peers in his region to prioritize NCDs.”
A WHO spokeswoman confirmed the comments to The Associated Press on Friday.
The U.S. in 2003 imposed targeted sanctions, a travel ban and an asset freeze against Mugabe and close associates, citing his government’s rights abuses and evidence of electoral fraud.