Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference launching his candidacy to the post of Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), on the sidelines of the WHO's annual assembly, on May 24, 2016, in Geneva. Delegates from 194 member-states gather for the second day of the WHO's annual assembly, with the UN agency's chief Margaret Chan warning in an opening address that the world was not prepared to cope with a rising threat from infectious diseases. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

UNAIDS warmly welcomes the appointment of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). The announcement was made during an appointment ceremony that took place after WHO Member States cast their final votes at a closed session during the 70th World Health Assembly.

“Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is a driving force for change with vast experience and expertise in global health,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “He is a dynamic leader, an excellent convener and shares our ambition to end AIDS as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. I look forward to working closely with him to achieve our goals.”

In an interview with UNAIDS, Mr Tedros said that lessons learned in the AIDS response have been critical to shaping the future of global health. He said that the creativity, commitment and multisectorality of the AIDS response will be needed to place universal health coverage at the centre of the implementation of all Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr Tedros is currently a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. He has 30 years of experience in health leadership, politics and diplomacy, during which he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Health of Ethiopia. He will take up his new position on 1 July 2017, taking over from Margaret Chan, who served as the Director-General of WHO for 10 years.

WHO is one of UNAIDS’ 11 Cosponsors advancing the response to HIV. UNAIDS will work closely with the new Director-General of WHO to advance progress in global health and end the AIDS epidemic as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.