Feature story

UNAIDS celebrates the life of Dr Sergei Furgal

28 May 2010

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Dr Sergei Furgal

Today there are heavy hearts at UNAIDS, as we celebrate and commemorate the life of Dr Sergei Furgal – one of UNAIDS most valued staff members and a distinguished international civil servant.

A citizen of the Russian Federation, Sergei completed his medical degree and graduate studies at the Russian Military Medical Academy in Leningrad. He had an accomplished career in government service of the Russian Federation, working as the Head of the Department of International Relations of the Ministry of Health in Moscow. In this capacity, he made invaluable contributions to strengthening the close friendship and collaboration between UNAIDS and the Russian Government.

Sergei joined UNAIDS in 2005, initially on secondment from the Russian Government. In five years of exemplary service with UNAIDS, he served in various important roles, including as Director, ad interim of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Moscow, and as UNAIDS Regional Support Adviser in Geneva, responsible for government relations with Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Using his unparalleled analytical expertise and diplomatic skills, Sergei was able to successfully negotiate a number of landmark agreements on AIDS in the Commonwealth of Independent States. He also provided invaluable guidance on ensuring that the AIDS issue was high on the agendas of the World Health Assembly, the G8 and CIS Summits.

Sergei gave generously of his time to support two causes he felt about most passionately: public health and Russia. He was actively involved in the activities of the Vishnevskaya and Rastropovich Medical Foundation. Sergei volunteered his time and influence to develop and promote the Foundation’s programmes for child health care in Russia.

Sergei is fondly remembered and dearly missed by thousands of friends, colleagues and countrymen from across the Russian Federation, the Commonwealth of Independent States and across the world.

Sergei Furgal passed away earlier this month in Geneva. Today Sergei’s life is being commemorated at a memorial ceremony at UNAIDS.

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