Jeux de la Francophonie and UNAIDS: Partnering for young people
28 September 2009
The Jeux de la Francophonie (the Francophone Games) have been opened in Beirut by His Excellency Michel Suleiman, the President of Lebanon. The Jeux de la Francophonie is an event where sport and culture combine to foster dialogue and understanding among French speaking nations. The games are organized by a national organizing committee and the l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
Through partnership change can happen.
I am delighted that this year for the first time, UNAIDS is an official partner to the Jeux de la Francophonie
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director
“Through partnership change can happen,” said Mr Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “I am delighted that this year for the first time, UNAIDS is an official partner to the Jeux de la Francophonie. The OIF has shown leadership and a strong commitment to placing AIDS on the games’ agenda.”
Observing the opening ceremony, Mr Sidibé noted the ability of the event to unify people all over the world. “The games, with their unique approach of merging sport and culture, have created a space for the open and respectful dialogue needed to challenge the taboos often surrounding issues pertaining to AIDS,” said Mr Sidibé.
Empowering young people to protect themselves from HIV is one of UNAIDS nine priority areas in the Outcome Framework 2009-2011.
In the Jeux de la Francophonie young athletes and artists of the French-speaking world are given an opportunity to meet through sporting and cultural events. The games have an ambition to foster dialogue and understanding among participants as well as spectators. It also aims to encourage young athletes and artist to contributing to international solidarity and gender equality, as well develop artistic exchanges between francophone countries.
"La Francophonie contre le sida - Francophone countries against AIDS"
In a joint campaign, across the city of Beirut UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassadors Michael Ballack and Emmanuel Adebayor feature on 100 billboards with the powerful message “La Francophonie contre le sida” (Francophone countries against AIDS). The UNAIDS logo along with other partners to the Games, is displayed by the organizing committee within the Chamoun stadium, visible to an expected 200, 000 spectators and 50 million people following the games via broadcasting.
Through the partnership, UNAIDS aims to raise awareness on AIDS issues and to help inform young people how to protect themselves against HIV infection.
With 7,400 new HIV infections daily worldwide and young people aged 15-24 accounting for 45% of these, empowering young people and raising awareness of the epidemic is seen as a key to bring about change.
Running from the 27 September to 6 October, the Jeux de la Francophonie brings together 70 countries from all over the world.