[Dateline: New York | Author: iSeek/EOSG]
The Secretary-General today swore in Mr. Michel Sidibé as the new Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), after which they held talks on key issues on moving the programme forward. He replaces Mr. Peter Piot.
In the meeting, Mr. Sidibé shared his vision to re-focus and re-energize response to AIDS, including work on the following:
- accelerating efforts toward universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010;
- bringing the AIDS response out of isolation without losing specificity, linking and achieving positive synergies with action for Millennium Development Goals results and health care;
- increasing efficiency and improved accountability of UN system action on AIDS.
The Executive Director sought the Secretary-General’s continued leadership in addressing critical challenges and barriers, especially achieving universal access.
Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon stressed his readiness to support Mr. Sidibé, saying: “I want to assure you of my full support in your new role as Executive Director of UNAIDS. I have no doubt your decades of experience with UNICEF and UNAIDS, including in the field, will be an asset to the fight against HIV.”
Mr. BAN noted, “I am deeply committed to the fight against HIV on a personal level. I have made this a priority during my tenure. I have -- and will continue -- to speak publicly about the importance of making universal access to preventive treatment, care and support a reality by 2010.”
The SG encouraged Mr. Sidibé “to seek bold measures” to ensure that people, irrespective of their life choices, get access to services. “We must therefore continue efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and uphold their rights-- including their right to travel.”
The Secretary-General also disclosed that during his bilateral meetings, he had urged governments that still have travel restrictions on people living with HIV to remove those barriers.
He went on to say, “I encourage UNAIDS, under your leadership, to continue its advocacy role and call for unprecedented mobilization, involving every sector of society, to ensure we meet the prevention and treatment challenges posed by the spread of HIV.”
Mr. Sidibé also met with Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.
About Mr Sidibé
Mr. Sidibé was appointed by the Secretary-General to the post of UNAIDS Executive Director on 1 December 2008, the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. His appointment took effect on 1 January 2009.
Mr. Sidibé has spent more than 30 years in public service. His career in health and development began when he became concerned with the health and welfare of the nomadic Tuareg people in the Timbuktu region of his native Mali. He subsequently became the country director of Terre des Hommes, an international development federation.
In 1987, Mr. Sidibé joined UNICEF in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the next 14 years, he oversaw UNICEF programmes across 10 francophone countries in Africa. In 2001, he joined UNAIDS as the Director of its Country and Regional Support Department. In 2007, Mr. Sidibé was appointed as UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director.
Mr. Sidibé earned Post-Master’s Diplomas in Social Planning and Demography as well as in Development and Political Economy from the University of Clermont. He also holds a Master’s degree in economics.
Born in 1952, Mr. Sidibé is a citizen of Mali. He is fluent in English and French. He also speaks several African languages including Bambara, Mandingo, and Dioula. He is married and has four children.