FILE - The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a media conference at an EU Africa summit in Brussels on Feb. 18, 2022. Ghebreyesus, is expected to be confirmed by the U.N. health agency's member countries for a second five-year term on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 after no other candidate challenged him for the post amid the ongoing difficulties of responding to the devastating coronavirus pandemic. (Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP, File)

WHO chief Tedros confirmed for second five-year term

WHO chief Tedros confirmed for second five-year term

WHO chief Tedros confirmed for second five-year term

LONDON (AP) — WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was confirmed by the UN health agency’s member countries for a second five-year term on Tuesday.

No other candidate challenged Tedros for the post amid the ongoing difficulties of responding to the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

“This is overwhelming,” Tedros said, after another WHO official asked everyone in the room to stand and applaud him. Fighting back tears, Tedros described himself as “a child of war.” He said that after witnessing his younger brother’s death at an early age, it was “luck (that) brought me all the way here.”

Tedros, a former government minister from Ethiopia, has directed the World Health Organization throughout its management of the global response to COVID-19 and withstood occasionally withering criticism over its multiple missteps. He is the first African to lead the agency and the only director-general not qualified as a medical doctor.

Under Tedros, the UN health agency failed to call out countries including China for blunders that WHO officials grumbled about privately.