Feature story

UNAIDS Executive Director met Caribbean delegations

21 May 2009

Michel Sidibé with Dr Edward Greene
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé (left) with Dr Edward Greene, Assistant-Secretary General, CARICOM Secretariat. 20 May 2009 Geneva. Credit: UNAIDS/P. Virot

UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé met on Wednesday 20th May with a delegation of the Caribbean community (CARICOM) at the 62nd World Health Assembly to discuss the Caribbean priorities for collaboration with UNAIDS.

Dr Edward Greene, Assistant-Secretary General of the CARICOM Secretariat and Mr Karl Hood, Minister of Health of Grenada and Chair of the Council of Human and Social Development of CARICOM, opened the meeting acknowledging Mr Sidibé’s leadership in accelerating the global response to HIV as well as the vital role played by UNAIDS in setting up and fostering growth of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV (PANCAP).

In October 2008, during CARICOM’s 7th general assembly, participants approved the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework for 2008-2013 which focuses on actions that will enable countries to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

Participants at the meeting made a call to UNAIDS to institutionalize and further strengthen the support it provides in the region. They called for UNAIDS to focus country assistance upon fully implementing the agreed regional Strategic Framework.

CARICOM delegations meeting that took place on the sideline of the 62nd World Health Assembly
Participants during the UNAIDS - CARICOM delegations meeting that took place on the sideline of the 62nd World Health Assembly. 20 May 2009 Geneva. Credit: UNAIDS/P. Virot

In response, Mr Sidibé reaffirmed UNAIDS’ commitment to provide its experience and technical support to help improve PANCAP’s capabilities to support its work at the international, country and community levels.

Mr Sidibé noted to participants that he recognised the need for strengthened technical support in the region. To this end he highlighted the importance of establishing a Technical Support Facility in the region.

During his intervention, Mr Sidibé highlighted the need to bring together all United Nations organizations working in the region under one action results framework. He also proposed the creation of an advisory group with representatives of CARICOM that could advise the UNAIDS Regional Director in identifying and coordinating priorities for an effective response to the epidemic in the region.

All participants agreed that the CARICOM – UNAIDS collaboration is producing positive results in the response to AIDS and reiterated their commitment to further strengthen the partnership.