The World Health Assembly approved the nomination of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) at its special meeting held in Geneva on November 9, 2006, electing Margaret Chan, China's candidate, former WHO Assistant Director-General and Director of Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), as the new WHO Director-General. It is the first time that a Chinese candidate runs for and is elected as the chief of a specialized UN agency.
There are 11 competitors from China, Japan, Mexico, Iceland, Kuwait, Finland, Mozambique, Turkey, France, Spain and Burma for the post. At the special meeting of the WHO Executive Board November 6-8, the 34 members conducted several rounds of voting and finally confirmed the nomination of Margaret Chan as the only candidate to the WHO Director-General.
The Chinese government has attached great importance and extended full support to Margaret Chan's candidacy. The governments of the Hong Kong and Macao SARs also offered active support. Margaret Chan's outstanding performance during the election process deeply impressed the WHO member states, and with their backing she was finally elected the next Director-General of the organization.