Address by Anders Nordström, Acting Director-General
Mr President, Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for this opportunity to say a few words at the end of this very special World Health Assembly.
First I would like to congratulate Margaret Chan with all my heart. And, using your words of yesterday, I will use my eyes, my ears and my heart to support you in your successful leadership of WHO.
It has been an immense privilege to take on this acting role and I thank you all for the trust you placed in me over these last few months.
I have learnt how strong this Organization is. It is strong because we have a clear purpose and direction. It is strong because it has a quite remarkable level of support in the international community, both politically and financially. It is strong because of its well focused health programmes and its exceptional staff.
As I have travelled during these last few months, whether engaging in the regional committees, or representing WHO in St Petersburg at the G8 Summit; in Toronto at the XVI International AIDS Conference, or in New York at the United Nations; I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with, and be challenged by colleagues on a wide range of issues.
Margaret, you will now head a group of people for whom I have the greatest respect - they are dedicated, talented, thoughtful and results-focused.
You have the enormous asset of the support of our Member States, whose engagement and governance allow us together to make major advances on critical public health priorities.
You will take on the leadership of this eminent authority on health in the world. It is a huge responsibility, and also now a huge opportunity.
I wish you all the very best in this new role. You know that you have the support, commitment, energy and enthusiasm of all of us behind you. Member States, other international organizations engaged in health, myself, and colleagues in the Secretariat throughout our offices, across the world.
I wish you all the best and I thank you all very much.