HK cheers Margaret Chan's re-election as WHO chief

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The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Wednesday congratulated on Margaret Chan's successful re-election to serve a second term in office as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Margaret Chan. [ File photo ]

Margaret Chan. [ File photo ] 

The 65th World Health Assembly endorsed Chan's appointment on Wednesday afternoon Geneva time, following nomination by the WHO's Executive Board in January this year.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang commended Chan for her outstanding performance and commitment in promoting public health at the international arena.

"We are extremely proud to see an officer from Hong Kong continuing to play a leading role in serving the global community," said Tsang in a statement.

Since she took office in January 2007, Chan has been working on WHO reforms, and improving the organization's leadership and management in world public health. She has also effectively handled public health emergencies including the outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1), and has made efforts in fulfilling the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in health sector. Her performance has been recognized by the WHO members.

Chan said universal health coverage was the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer and it was "the anchor for the work of WHO as we move forward" in a keynote speech to the assembly on Monday.

Chan has worked in the Hong Kong civil service for 25 years before retiring as Director of Health in 2003. She subsequently joined the WHO and was first appointed to the post of Director-General of the WHO in 2006. Upon re-election, Chan's new term will begin on July 1, 2012 and continue until June 30, 2017.

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