The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has affirmed the Liberian government’s commitment to the African Union’s decision to support the candidature of the Ethiopia in the election for a Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017.
The Foreign Ministry made the statement in clarification of a story published in the FrontPageAfrica newspaper Thursday, September 15, under the caption: “Africa Betrayal?”
In its story, the newspaper indicated that while the AU has endorsed Ethiopia’s candidature for the position of WHO Director-General at the African Union Heads of State and Government gathering in January 2016, Liberia is contesting along with France’s candidate against the decision of the Union.
But the ministry said, on the contrary, the government wishes to confirm its support for the candidature of Ethiopia for the position of WHO Director-General in conformity with a decision reached at the 26th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, in January 2016.
The Liberian Government, however, said that prior to the submission of Ethiopia’s candidature to the AU for endorsement, France had earlier directly requested Liberia’s support for its candidature with the proviso that Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn would surface in the position of Deputy Director-General.
In view of the foregoing, the Government of Liberia acceded to the request and agreed to support the candidacy of France.
However, in light of the African Union’s decision to endorse the candidacy of Ethiopia, and in the interest of sustaining Liberia’s image as a respectable member of the AU, Government decided to conform to the decision of the rest of Africa.
Meanwhile, France remains an invaluable partner of Liberia on many other international and local fronts which would be undoubtedly maintained in the interest of the two countries.