Feature story

Dialogue on new generation leadership and youth mentoring at AIDS 2010

17 July 2010

HRH the Crown Princess of Norway and UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé, Vienna, 17 July 2010HRH the Crown Princess of Norway and UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé, Vienna, 17 July 2010. Credit: UNAIDS/Heimo Aga 

Young leaders from around the world joined HRH the Crown Princess of Norway and UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé and others to exchange experiences on leadership in the AIDS response during a formal and an informal session on 17 July 2010 at AIDS 2010.

Bringing together current leaders with an emerging generation of young leaders, the afternoon sessions were an opportunity to share experiences and exchange ideas on the concept of “new generation leadership” between established and young leaders and identify the potential opportunities.

New Generation Leadership

Based on recommendations of young leaders during the Young Leaders Summit in Oslo, Norway in June 2009, new generation leadership hopes to increase the participation of young people in policy-making and help foster a new generation of leadership.

UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway is committed to supporting the issue of new generation leadership in the AIDS response. Noting the importance of this approach, HRH Mette-Marit said, “In my role with UNAIDS I consider helping to strengthen young leadership to be my most important task.”

“We are at a crossroads and we need young people to be at the forefront of our efforts. Join me to pave the way for new leaders," HRH Princess Mette-Marit added.

HIV Youth Mentorship Hub

The UNAIDS Executive Director, calling for “young leaders of today, not for tomorrow,” also launched the concept of an HIV Youth Mentorship Hub. The Hub is envisaged as a mechanism to strengthen the visibility and effectiveness of youth leadership in the global AIDS response. Through its online community e-platform, AIDSspace, the Joint Programme hopes to provide a structured opportunity to connect established leaders in the HIV response with emerging young leaders. The young leaders and their respective mentors would be able to interact and discuss issues related to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

The HIV Youth Mentorship Hub also aims to make a repository of knowledge and skills in youth leadership available. This will enable young people to shape the implementation of effective HIV programmes and to foster a youth movement to reduce new HIV infection among young people.

Support for youth leadership is a key priority for UNAIDS. According to its Outcome Framework 2010-2011, the Joint Programme strives towards "Empowering young people to protect themselves from HIV" as one of its ten priority areas. The New Generation Leadership programme and HIV Youth Mentorship Hubs are steps in this direction.

As Paddy Masembe, a delegate representing the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV, pointed out at today’s event, the youth voice is critical, “People say young people are too young to discuss sex, but we are too young to die!”

Related feature stories



More on AIDS 2010, Vienna

AIDS 2010 

Feature stories:

aids2031 2009 Young Leaders Summit (25 June 2009)


UNAIDS Outlook Report 2010 (pdf, 6 Mb)

UNAIDS Outcome Framework 2009-2011 (pdf, 388 Kb)