WHO terminates Western Pacific regional director for misconduct

WHO terminates Western Pacific regional director for misconduct

Zsuzsanna Jakab to serve as acting director until new director assumes office

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) terminated Wednesday the appointment of the Western Pacific regional director after an investigation proved allegations of misconduct.

The WHO said it received allegations against the regional director during the latter half of 2021 and in 2022 -- without disclosing the director's name.

"In line with the Organization’s policy of zero tolerance for abusive conduct, the allegations were investigated and subsequently reviewed in accordance with the normal procedures applicable to all WHO staff members. This included the right of the Regional Director to receive all relevant evidence and respond to the allegations in line with due process," it said. "These procedures resulted in findings of misconduct."

"After careful consideration of the findings, and following consultation with the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific and the Executive Board, the Regional Director’s appointment has been terminated," it added.

It noted that Zsuzsanna Jakab, who has served as Officer-in-Charge of the Western Pacific Region since August, will serve as an acting regional director until a new director takes office following the election cycle which will begin in April.

The election will take place at a closed meeting of the Regional Committee in October and the nomination will go to the Executive Board for approval, according to a statement.

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