The non-governmental human rights group UN Watch welcomed the WHO's cancellation of its "absurd, immoral and insulting" appointment of Robert Mugabe as goodwill ambassador but called for a full, independent and international inquiry into any possible deals made between the WHO chiefâ€“Ethiopia's former foreign ministerâ€“and Zimbabwe's ruler.
"There must be more to the story. How could Dr. Tedros, a sophisticated political figure, have chosen to honor a man whohas brutalized human rights activists, crushed democracy dissidents, and turned the breadbasket of Africa and its health system into a basket-case?" askedUN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.
"We regret that Dr. Tedros' statement shows no remorse, nor any mention of Mugabe's gross human rights abuses. On the contrary, he seems to double down and justify his decision by speaking of the need to 'include everyone', presumably tyrants as well."
"We ask Dr. Tedros to agree to a meeting in Geneva of victims of Mugabe, which we will gladly organize, giving the WHO chief a chance to compensate for the damage he has done to the cause of human rights in Zimbabwe. He should now honor the victims, instead of the perpetrator."
"The tyrant of Zimbabwe is the last person who should have been legitimised by a U.N. position of any kind," said Neuer. "Something is very ill at the U.N.'s world health agency."