Closing remarks of the Acting Director-General
Dr Antezana, members of the Executive Board, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me start by congratulating Margaret Chan on her nomination as Director-General.
I would also like to acknowledge, and thank, the candidates who are not here today. Their willingness to be considered for this position is a great compliment to the Organization. To have attracted so many candidates of so high a calibre, is a testament to the strength and value of WHO.
Today opens the first page of a new chapter in WHO's history. This is a very important opportunity both for global health and for WHO.
Each Director-General brings a distinctive personal flavour to his or her running of this Organization. Each builds further on the achievements and ideas of the past.
I think we are now in a uniquely strong position. My experience over the past few months has shown me how immensely rich a resource we have in our staff, and in the support of our Member States. This is truly an Organization to be very proud of.
I am deeply grateful for all the support I have had since May. From yourselves, from governments, from my colleagues, team members and friends in WHO and outside, and from my family. And, in my thoughts, very often from JW Lee.
In early June I made a commitment that I would deliver in three priority areas:
- To maintain the momentum and direction in our technical work;
- To manage the election process in as efficient and transparent a manner as possible;
- To continue work on management reforms.
Though there is still much to be done, I believe that we have made progress in many areas - and that there is potential for important continuing advances in others. I look forward to reporting to you on this in detail at a later date, perhaps in January.
Our new Director-General takes the leadership of an Organization that is moving forward with determination and purpose.
Margaret, you have my full support. I look forward to doing all I can to support a smooth and positive transition over the next few weeks and months.