Feature story

UNAIDS in Oslo for Nordic Consultations

08 May 2009

Mr Erik Solheim and Michel Sidibe
Mr Erik Solheim, the Norwegian Minister of International Development and Environment (left) meets Mr Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director in Oslo, 7 May 2009
Credit: Secretariat of the Minister of International Development, Norway

The Nordic countries are staunch supporters of the global AIDS response and have supported UNAIDS both politically and financially since its inception. This week UNAIDS met with four Nordic countries, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to exchange knowledge and outline priorities for the upcoming year.

The Nordic countries place great emphasis on the informal and interactive format of these annual consultations with UNAIDS which this year were hosted by Norway in Oslo.

“The Consultations are a true example of a genuine partnership – and cooperation among friends,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We hold honest discussions which provide essential feedback for UNAIDS’ work,” he added.

The Consultations are a true example of a genuine partnership – and cooperation among friends. We hold honest discussions which provide essential feedback for UNAIDS’ work.

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS

Topics up for discussion this year included vulnerable populations, including migrants; dealing with the financial crisis; linking the AIDS response and the Millennium Development Goals; health system strengthening and delivery; and where UNAIDS should be in the global health architecture.

During the visit to Oslo, Mr Sidibé also met with the State Secretary Solveig Torsvik, the Deputy Secretary General, Atle Leikvoll, the Minister of International Development and Environment Erik Solheim.

Michel Sidibe and Mette Marit
Mr Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director visited Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette Marit in Oslo on 7 May 2009
Credit: Sara Johannesen, Scanpix

Mr Sidibé also took the opportunity to visit Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette Marit.

The Crown Princess renewed her support to UNAIDS and discussed a number of initiatives she is currently involved in including the aids2031 Young Leaders Summit which is taking place in Oslo next month where she pledged to raise awareness about HIV and young people.

The Crown Princess has been working with UNAIDS since 2006, helping to generate awareness and support for young people living with HIV. In 2008 while visiting Ukraine she met with young people involved in peer education and people living with HIV as well as many others working in the country’s AIDS response. The Crown Princess has also used her status to raise awareness around women and HIV, notably during the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006 and during a fact finding mission to Nicaragua in 2007.

The meetings in Oslo concluded on Friday with a dialogue between participants and Nordic civil society groups.

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