Robert Mugabe, left, and Dr. Tedros of WHO.
GENEVA, October 22, 2017 – 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 chief—Ethiopia’s former foreign minister—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 who has brutalized human rights activists, crushed democracy dissidents, and turned the breadbasket of Africa and its health system into a basket-case?” asked UN 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 legitimized by a U.N. position of any kind,” said Neuer. “Something is very ill at the U.N.’s world health agency.”
UN Watch has been a leading voice at the United Nations for Zimbabwe’s victims and in combating Mugabe’s abuses:
- UN Watch led the international coalition of NGOs that challenged the Mugabe regime’s massive human rights abuses, in a major address to the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights in 2005.
- UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer debated Mugabe’s rep on CNN to oppose their UN human rights commission membership.
- UN Watch brought Zimbabwe dissident Jestina Mukoko to testify at its renowned Geneva Summit for Human Rights, as it hosted Dewa Mavhingha and other Zimbabwe activists.
- UN Watch was the NGO to confront Zimbabwe in the 2008 UPR debate at the UN.
- UN Watch hosted the first NGO debate on human rights and “Zimbabwe’s New Deal”, with -Arnold Tsunga of the International Commission of Jurists and Daniel Molokele of the Global Zimbabwe Forum.
- UN Watch led the campaign opposing Mugabe’s appointment as Chair of the World Summit on Tourism.
Click here for original UN Watch protest against Mugabe’s appointment by WHO.