Dr Peter Piot delivers final report to UNAIDS’ governing board as Executive Director

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Dr Peter Piot delivers final report to UNAIDS’ governing board as Executive Director

16 December 2008

At the 23rd meeting of UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) Dr Peter Piot delivered his final report as Executive Director.
Credit: UNAIDS/D. Bregnard

In what he called his “swan song” Dr Piot gave a concise yet comprehensive review of his tenure at UNAIDS, as well as the AIDS response through his eyes as the first executive director of UNAIDS.

Dr Piot touched on how different it is today in the world to when UNAIDS began in 1996, a time when the world was contributing only US$250 million to AIDS in developing countries and no one was on antiretroviral treatment. He went on to describe achievements in the AIDS response and ended with focus on future issues including leadership and funding, ensuring policies are informed by science, no compromises on human rights, engagement of civil society and the making the money work for people in the most need.

Dr Piot closed by calling on the UNAIDS governing board to give the new Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé the same support he has received.

Delegations shared their appreciation. Countries and delegations made interventions praising the work of Dr Piot while commenting on the challenges ahead for the AIDS response and assuring Mr Sidibé of their support in the work ahead.

Mr Sidibé thanked the work of the board and thanking the current executive director for his contributions and promised his relentless pursuit of an AIDS reversal.

Dr Piot closed the session by noting that the often in the media you see the conflict of AIDS but what isn’t seen enough is amazing coalition of very different interests. “Where else would you see all these different groups?” he said. He then thanked the PCB Chair, Ambassador Mark Dybul for his leadership and concluded with words from Arundhati Roy:

“To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”