SANTIAGO – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said that she will chair the World Health Organization’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health after she leaves office in March.
Bachelet, who led UN Women between her first and second terms as Chile’s head of state, confirmed Wednesday night that she had accepted the proposal to succeed Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, at the helm of the partnership.
She will carry out her duties for the WHO from Chile, Bachelet, herself a physician, told people at an event in Bahia Inglesa, 850 kilometers north (528 miles) of Santiago.
“The truth is that I’m going to stay in my country because I love my country and because I believe that one must continue to contribute to the degree of one’s possibilities. And because I’m available to defend all the reforms we have made and which are about benefits for you,” the center-left president said.
In her second term, Bachelet enacted changes to the tax system, education and labor law as part of an effort to combat inequality and improve the distribution of wealth.
Some fear that those reforms may be in jeopardy of the government of President-elect Sebastian Piñera, a conservative billionaire.