Ethiopia Criticizes WHO Board after its Chair Cutoff Envoy’s Speech

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has criticized the World Health Organization Executive Board after its Envoy was denied a chance to speak about WHO Director-General’s “flagrant misconduct”.

The WHO executive board chair denied Ethiopia’s envoy Zenebe Kebede twice and eventually cut him off from delivering a speech at the start of the hybrid meeting in Geneva on Monday.

The chair Patrick Amoth also postponed a decision on a request from Addis Ababa to investigate his allegedly support TPLF, a designated terrorist group in Ethiopia.

“Ethiopia regrets that it was not allowed to deliver a statement” at the 150 session of WHO executive board, said its permanent mission to Geneva in a statement today.

“Such treatment of a member country is unacceptable,” it added.

The flare-up came at the WHO’s week-long Executive Board meeting which is set to discuss a bid by current director-general Tedros Adhanom, from Ethiopia, for a second term as head of the U.N. health agency, according to media report.

The statement said Ethiopia nominated Tedros for the post of Director General of the WHO, mobilizing Africans and other friendly countries to support him.

“As soon as the conflict was triggered by the TPLF, he showed his true colours. … chose his political affiliation to TPLF over his country,” reads the statement.

“In the process, he betrayed his oath of office as a Director General of the WHO,” said the Ethiopian permanent mission.

The mission accused Tedros of abusing his office and the international nature of the Director General “to advance TPLF’s propaganda.”

“In the process, he committed a flagrant misconduct on a routine basis,” it said. “He violated the standard of conduct for international civil service and WHO’s Code of Ethics.”

The East African nation has already submitted a formal complaint to the Executive Board of the WHO and said it is still awaiting the acknowledgement of the receipt of its complaint.

“In fact, on the first day of the Executive Board meeting Ethiopia was denied to explain this worrying situation,” the statement added.

The Mission said Ethiopia’s complaint does not refer to the work of WHO nor to the performance of the staff.

“It is directed to the misconduct of the Director-General and his desecration of his professional and legal responsibility,” the statement concluded.

[Featured Image File/UN Photo]