17 May 2002

Cook Islands MP seeks top job with World Health Organisation

4:28 pm on 17 May 2002

A former Cook Islands health minister and advocate of the country being host to controversial xenotransplantation trials, Joe Williams, is reported to be lobbying for a top job with the World Health Organisation.

Dr Williams, who is the overseas member of parliament, has travelled to Geneva on a taxpayer funded trip to attend the WHO Assembly.

Dr Williams has served on the WHO Executive Board and disclosed some years ago his ambition to be appointed director of the WHO in the Western Pacific region.

The MP has been criticised for supporting a proposal by a New Zealand company to stage trials involving the transplant of live pig cells into diabetes sufferers in the Cook Islands.

The New Zealand government had earlier denied the company permission to carry out such a research programme in New Zealand