Michel Sidibé presents UNAIDS’ vision in Washington, D.C.
14 September 2009
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy Center invited the UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé to share his vision for the future direction of UNAIDS, including prospects for accelerated global action in support of universal access to HIV services.
In his first public address in Washington D.C. since assuming his position as head of UNAIDS, Mr Sidibé recognized the efforts made by the United States in responding to AIDS, from the gay rights movement of the early days of the epidemic to the PEPFAR programme and the leadership of the Obama administration, and in particular the new comprehensive global health strategy. However, he stressed that “Despite these heroic efforts, HIV continues to outstrip our response.”
The AIDS plus MDG agenda provides an opportunity to unite the creativity, determination and momentum of the AIDS movement with movements for other MDGs.
UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé
“Change is possible,” he stated “but only if we are ready to address the underlying drivers of the epidemic.” Mr Sidibé emphasized the need to take the AIDS response out of isolation and link it to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). “The AIDS plus MDG agenda provides an opportunity to unite the creativity, determination and momentum of the AIDS movement with movements for other MDGs,” he said. “Surely this will accelerate progress on AIDS as well as other MDG targets—reaping bidirectional benefits and multiplier effects,” he added.
During his presentation, Mr Sidibé took the opportunity to outline UNAIDS strategy for the AIDS response. Mr Sidibé underscored that the “value proposition” of UNAIDS—advocating, brokering and convening—is now more urgent than it has ever been.
As part of his official visit to the country’s capital, Mr Sidibé will meet with representatives of the United States Senate, Congress and Administration as well as with the country’s Global AIDS Ambassador Mr Eric Goosby.
Later in the week, Mr Sidibé will participate in the Forum on HIV, Human Rights and Men Who Have Sex with Men. This event will raise attention to the human rights issues that affect men who have sex with men (MSM) and other sexual minorities. It will also look at the policy and structural barriers that prevent MSM and other sexual minorities from accessing HIV services, including prevention, treatment, care and support.