The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon brought together his team of United Nations Special Envoys for AIDS to discuss their strategic directions for the year ahead. UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé also participated in the meeting that took place on 07 January at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Welcoming his first meeting with the Special Envoys since their appointment in 2012, the Secretary-General highlighted their vision and leadership in the AIDS response. “Each of you have demonstrated your commitment by leading by example,” said Mr Ban. “I am very pleased to see you are effective, with an independent vision and working in close coordination with UNAIDS to reach the 2015 goals.”
The new team of Special Envoys is formed by Asha Rose Migiro, Special Envoy for Africa and former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General; Michel Kazatchkine, Special Envoy for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and former Executive Director of The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; J.V.R. Prasada Rao, Special Envoy for Asia and the Pacific and former Director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team; and Edward Greene, Special Envoy for the Caribbean and former CARICOM Secretariat Assistant Secretary-General.
The Special Envoys for AIDS are highly experienced individuals dedicated to support the Secretary-General in the final push towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly halting and reversing the course of HIV (MDG6) and reducing child mortality and improving maternal health (MDG 4 and 5). The Special Envoys are also uniquely positioned to communicate the Secretary-General’s messages and vision, leverage political processes and contribute towards shaping the post 2015 development agenda.
"We have a really strong team of Special Envoys on AIDS with great coherence, an outstanding understanding of regional specificities and global issues, and able to work across all sectors," said Mr Sidibé. “I am confident that together we will be able to articulate and advance priorities now and for the post 2015 agenda.”
The main areas of work that the Special Envoys on AIDS are prioritizing include promoting increased access to HIV treatment and prevention, encouraging shared responsibility and global solidarity among countries, and calling for the respect of human rights for all. They will also work with UNAIDS Cosponsors to ensure the prominence of HIV in related thematic areas such as drug policy, HIV within the context of peace and security, and decreasing the vulnerability of women and girls.