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New Zealand pays tribute to WHO head

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

23 May 2006 Media Statement

New Zealand pays tribute to WHO head

Prime Minister Helen Clark has today paid tribute to Dr Lee Jong-wook, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who died overnight.

"Dr Lee served at the WHO for 23 years, the last three as Director General. As Director General, he worked to focus the WHO where its impact would be the greatest.

"Most recently that included providing central leadership in preparing for a possible flu pandemic and in encouraging all countries to step up their planning efforts.

"His leadership has also been vital in the global effort to achieve universal access to HIV treatment by 2010.

"Dr Lee's commitment and passion to the health of all people will be missed by the whole of the international community," Helen Clark said.

Dr Lee's death was announced on the first day of the 2006 World Health Assembly in Geneva. Health Minister Pete Hodgson is leading New Zealand's delegation to the Assembly and has expressed the condolences of the New Zealand government today.


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