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The new head of the World Health Organization has rescinded an invitation to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the global health agency, saying he has heard the criticism the appointment generated.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s decision to appoint the Zimbabwean strongman to serve as a goodwill ambassador has been censured by heads of state, human rights organizations, and the global health community since it came to public attention late last week.


“I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns, and heard the different issues that they have raised. I have also consulted with the Government of Zimbabwe and we have concluded that this decision is in the best interests of the World Health Organization,” Tedros, as he is known, said in a statement issued from Geneva on Sunday.

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