Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed WHO ambassador

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the appointment of Gordon Brown, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, as WHO ambassador for global health financing.

Brown is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. He mobilised world leaders to commit an additional US$1.1 trillion to restore credit, growth, and jobs to help the world economy through the global financial crisis.

More recently, Brown has tirelessly called on wealthy nations, as well as the private sector, to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, advocating for a concerted global effort — rooted in science and sound economics — to save lives, end the pandemic, and restore livelihoods the world over.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, hailed Brown as a champion for galvanising the world’s major economies to protect health and prevent future disease outbreaks.

Dr Tedros said, “I am delighted and honoured that Gordon Brown has agreed to serve as WHO ambassador for global health financing. In this role, he will elevate and support WHO’s work to raise awareness internationally on the great need for sustained global health financing, particularly from G20 and G7 countries. As a long-time friend of Gordon, I know that he will bring his sharp intellect, firm commitment, and deep sense of justice to this ambassadorship.”

In his response Brown said, “I have a tremendous personal regard for Dr Tedros with whom I first worked two decades ago, and I am delighted to be able to help his and WHO’s work, raising global finance to ensure everyone has access to health. Our immediate task is to work together to finance the vaccination of the whole world and protect the poorest countries from the terrible effects of COVID-19 and other diseases.”

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