World Health Organization—Director-General Dr Tedros takes the helm of WHO

Director-General Dr Tedros takes the helm of WHO: address to WHO staff

Today it is my pleasure and privilege to join and stand before you as the new Director-General of the World Health Organization. Our World Health Organization.

Let me start with the moral centre of our work, with this simple but crucial statement: WHO’s work is about serving people, about serving humanity. It’s about serving people regardless of where they live, be it in developing or developed countries, small islands or big nations, urban or rural settings. It’s about serving people regardless of who they are. Poor or rich, displaced or disabled, elderly or the youth. Most importantly, it’s about fighting to ensure the health of people as a basic human right. Health is a basic human right, that you fully understand.

It’s about a child who gets to see adulthood or about a parent who watches their child survive and thrive. It’s about a community living disease-free or an entire country or region that’s better prepared for health emergencies or for climate change.

Without health, people have nothing. Without health, we have nothing as humanity.

That’s why our work here at the World Health Organization is so important. WHO’s work is about helping people to protect and to improve their health. This is our collective vision: a world where everyone can achieve healthy and productive lives no matter who they are or where they live.

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