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The regional director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Bureau for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge, was decorated on Wednesday with the National Order "For Merit" in the rank of Commander by President Klaus Iohannis.

"I am confident that, through personal example, you will support a strong, excellence-oriented regional organization capable of providing reliable and timely expertise for all Member States in the region. Romania has supported your candidacy for this high strategic position, taking into consideration your vast experience in the field and the fact that the mandate priorities outlined in the New Work Program correspond to a vision we want for the future WHO and for the health of European citizens. I am convinced that through the assumed leadership model you will contribute to strengthening the role of Europe and of the entire Organization in global health," said the head of state, at the decoration ceremony that took place at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

He stressed that systems and societies need to be well prepared to meet emerging challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that adequate leadership is needed.

You have shown both national solidarity, leaving no one behind and international solidarity, the WHO representative said, according to the official translation.

Hans Kluge added that he often sets the example of our country in the meetings he has.

The fact that Romania supported my candidacy was a highly important thing. It was the first country that supported my candidacy, and this is a memory that will remain. You can consider me a great friend of your country. Friendship is a very important platform for further work in health systems, he said.

President Klaus Iohannis awarded the National Order "For Merit" in the rank of Commander to the WHO Regional Director for Europe, as sign of "high appreciation for his important contribution at European level in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, for the close collaboration relationship with Romania, actively participating in the efforts to improve the Romanian health system".AGERPRES(RO - authors: Florentina Peia, Oana Ghita, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Maria Voican)

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