It is the first time that a candidate for the top post of the United Nations health agency has not been nominated by his country of origin.
Tedros has been in the global spotlight on the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past 19 months – a historic crisis that has eclipsed everything else throughout his tenure, which began in 2017.
The election of the next WHO Director-General, who carries a five-year term, takes place at the agency’s next annual meeting in May next year.
Tedros clashed with the Ethiopian government of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for being outspoken about the killings and other human rights violations in his home region of Tigray.
Tedros was previously a senior official in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray, once a dominant member of a coalition ruling Ethiopia, but now designated by the national government as a terrorist group.
Tedros was also Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs in the previous Ethiopian government.
The diplomatic missions of France and Germany to UN agencies in Geneva, Switzerland, announced their support for Tedros on their Twitter feeds after a deadline for director nominations expired on Thursday. general.
On its website, the WHO said it did not plan to announce the full list of candidates until November, but some diplomatic officials suggested it might not have a competition.
A diplomatic official in Geneva, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 15 other EU members joined Tedros’ appointment.
Macharia Kamau, principal secretary of Ethiopia’s neighboring Kenya Foreign Ministry, said on Twitter that her country supported Tedros, the first African to head the WHO.