UN health agency announces 13 nominees to become next Director-General

6 September 2006

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today unveiled the names of the 13 nominees proposed by Member States to replace the late Lee Jong-wook as Director-General of the Geneva-based agency.

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today unveiled the names of the 13 nominees proposed by Member States to replace the late Lee Jong-wook as Director-General of the Geneva-based agency.

Fernando Antezana Araníbar, Chairman of WHO’s Executive Board, announced the list of nominations after the deadline for submissions passed yesterday. The nominees’ curricula vitae will now be circulated among the organization’s 192 Member States.

A shortlist of candidates will be drawn up by the 34-member Executive Board during its meeting in Geneva from 6-8 November, and those candidates will be interviewed. The Executive Board will then choose one candidate by secret ballot and submit that name to the World Health Assembly for a vote on 9 November.

The nominees are, in alphabetical order: Kazem Behbehani (Kuwait), Margaret Chan (China), Julio Frenk (Mexico), David A. Gunnarsson (Iceland), Nay Htun (Myanmar), Karam Karam (Syria), Bernard Kouchner (France), Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi (Mozambique), Shigeru Omi (Japan), Alfredo Palacio González (Ecuador), Pekka Puska (Finland), Elena Salgado Méndez (Spain) and Tomris Türmen (Turkey).

The new Director-General will face a series of pressing tasks, from the threat of a bird flu pandemic to ongoing battles against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Dr. Lee, who died suddenly in May, two years before the end of his five-year term, was the WHO’s sixth Director-General since its founding in 1948. Anders Nordström, who had been WHO Assistant Director-General, General Management, has been serving as Acting Director-General since Dr. Lee’s death.

 

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