UN Cares: UN system workplace programme on HIV launched in Asia Pacific
02 December 2008
Marking World AIDS Day, UN staff from the Asia Pacific region launched a “UN Cares” regional programme yesterday in Bangkok.
Robert Sutherland, representative of UN Plus in Asia and the Pacific, delivered a speech at the launch in which he acknowledged his appreciation of the leadership of UN agencies in delivering on AIDS, and appealed for even more support for creating an environment free of stigma and discrimination within UN.
After the lighting of two red candles – which according to Asian tradition marks a beginning – the UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary ESCAP, Ms. Noeleen Heyzer delivered her address. She stressed the role of a coordinated “one UN” to ensure that the UN Secretary-General’s commitment to UN Cares is realized in the region. She said, “This year’s World AIDS Day theme ‘Lead, Empower, Deliver’ allows us to reflect on our roles as UN leaders. With this theme, let us pledge to contribute to our own staff welfare when it comes to HIV and AIDS by ensuring time and support needed to meet a specific set of ten minimum standards of UN Cares by the end of 2011.”
On the occasion, the UN Cares Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator, Dr Lazeena Muna-McQuay was introduced. Dr Muna-McQuay is jointly hosted by UNFPA, ESCAP and UNAIDS RST.
Two UN Cares videos were screened during the programme including the speech of Secretary-General during the official launch of global UN Cares programme and the “voices of support from the field”.
The launch closed with a commitment, as iterated by the Secretary-General, to make UN Cares ten Minimum Standards achieved by all UN agencies by the year 2011.
The UN Cares programme has been developed through interagency consultation between UNAIDS Cosponsors and other. It is a single harmonized programme available to UN system personnel and their families in all entities and all duty stations, designed to help them to access their rights defined in the 1991 United Nations HIV/AIDS Personnel Policy and in the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work and recognize their individual responsibilities related to HIV. The UN Cares global programme was launched by the Secretary-General in May this year in New York.