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Minister of Foreign Affairs | Dr. Tedros for Director General of the World Health Organization

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tedros has been applying his proven diplomatic and negotiation skills to continue championing global health priorities in bilateral and multilateral forums. He has also been a leader in a paradigm shift in Africa’s political and socio-economic governance and development in order to realize the continent’s long-term agendas.

In July 2015, Dr. Tedros led the organization of the landmark Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, which convened high-level policy makers from across the world to develop and agree on a new framework for financing the ambitious post-2015 development agenda. Dr. Tedros was a key consensus builder uniting the divergent and opposing views of the delegations. The conference ended successfully with the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda by 193 UN Member States. The agreement marked a historic milestone in forging a global partnership to advance economic prosperity while protecting the environment, and it provides countries with a strong foundation for financing their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including health reform. Under his leadership, Ethiopia drafted and sponsored a resolution at the 24th African Union Summit in January 2015, which led to the establishment of the African Communicable Diseases Centers to build continental capacity in health research, early detection and avail rapid response to epidemic outbreaks.

In 2014, Dr. Tedros was instrumental in the establishment of the African Union response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. He supported the African Union’s Executive Council decision affirming that travel bans to Ebola-affected African countries should be in line with World Health Organization guidelines. Working with the Ministry of Health, Ethiopia sent nearly 200 health workers, as part of the African Union team during the Ebola outbreak, to West Africa.

Dr. Tedros became Chair of the Executive Council of the Foreign Ministers of the African Union in 2013. He oversaw the successful celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the African Union, which was held in Addis Ababa. He emphasized the need for Africa to focus on issues of economic emancipation, peace and stability, the acceleration of rapid economic growth, governance and democratization. During his tenure, the AU adopted its First Ten Year Implementation Plan for Agenda 2063—a roadmap for achieving a prosperous Africa based on inclusive and sustainable growth, which places health as its centerpiece. In December 2015, Dr. Tedros oversaw a successful negotiation with Djibouti on full economic integration while he led Ethiopia in joining the Northern Corridor Integration Projects, an East African body that strives to stimulate regional integration through hard and soft infrastructure.

As Chair of the Executive Council of Intergovernmental Authority on Development since 2008, Dr. Tedros helped Ethiopia enjoy unprecedented levels of cooperation with its neighbours and countries of the region through astute diplomacy. Dr. Tedros’ skills in negotiation and conflict resolution have also helped resolve regional disputes, such as the agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and Jubaland Political Actors, which was critical to improving the delivery of the Juba Agreement and provided an important model for regional state formation and the upcoming election in Somalia. He also left an indelible mark in Nile diplomacy, as the country’s top diplomat, in the successful negotiation between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the signing of the Declaration of Principles Agreement.