UNAIDS Executive Director meets the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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UNAIDS Executive Director meets the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

30 August 2011

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé (right) met with H.E. KIM Sung-Hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Republic of Korea, on 29 August in Seoul.

In an official meeting on 29 August with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Republic of Korea, H.E. KIM Sung-Hwan, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé commended the Korean Government for its emerging global and regional role in the AIDS response. 

“The Republic of Korea is increasingly showing leadership in the international response to both HIV and broader health and development goals,” said Mr Sidibé. “UNAIDS counts on countries like yours to accelerate a new wave of progress towards Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.”

The Republic of Korea has low HIV prevalence, with an estimated 7000 people living with HIV. Over the past decade, Korea has partnered with a number of international development agencies on a range of projects focused on AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In his meeting with the Minister, Sidibé underscored that Korea could strengthen its contribution to global development by sharing technology and technical expertise with resource-poor countries.

The Republic of Korea is increasingly showing leadership in the international response to both HIV and broader health and development goals

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé

During the meeting, Mr Sidibé thanked Korea for convening the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) — a gathering this week in Busan of more than 2000 AIDS experts and activists from across the Asia Pacific region. He also noted that Korea will host a High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness later this year.

The UNAIDS Executive Director expressed appreciation for the steps that the Korean government has taken in the past years to remove restrictions on entry, stay and residence that have blocked HIV-positive people from living and working in Korea. He noted that foreigners living with HIV are now eligible to obtain all types of visas to visit Korea.  “Many people living with HIV from across the region participated in the ICAAP conference — a sign that the Republic of Korea, in practice, is taking this issue very seriously,” he said.

Mr Sidibé and Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs said they looked forward to a strengthened partnership between UNAIDS and the Republic of Korea.