GENEVA, 2 August 2013 - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe of Uganda as his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Ms Wandira-Kazibwe is a Senior Adviser to the President of Uganda on issues of population and health and chairs the board of directors of Microfinance Support Center Ltd.
From 1993 to 2004, she served as Vice-President of Uganda, the first woman in Africa to hold such a position. A trained surgeon, Ms Wandira-Kazibwe also serves as a member of the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation initiative.
As Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Ms Wandira-Kazibwe will help advance the AIDS response in Africa by advocating for the proactive engagement and involvement of all sectors of society.
"I am honoured and very delighted to take on this new and challenging role in this crucial time of the AIDS response," said Ms Wandira-Kazibwe.
"We look forward to working closely with such an experienced leader like Ms Wandira-Kazibwe," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. "I am convinced that her tireless effort and commitment will help make change happen across Africa."
Africa continues to be more affected by HIV than any other region of the world, accounting for 69% of people living with HIV globally. Despite positive trends, in 2011 there were still 1.8 million new HIV infections across the continent, and 1.2 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations - UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank - and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.