Russian government and UNAIDS face off in charity soccer match
10 October 2011
On the eve of the International Forum on Millennium Development Goal (MDG)-6, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) co-organized a charity soccer match at the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium in Moscow in support of women and children living with HIV in Russia.
The two teams—captained by Arkady Dvorkovich, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation, and Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director—were composed of prominent politicians, business leaders and former international and Russian sports stars.
Members of the UNAIDS Red Ribbon United Team included internationally-known soccer players Daniele Massaro, Luigi Di Biagio, Gianfranco Zola and Lorrie Fair. A number of high level government officials joined Dvorkovich on the Russian Rossich Team, including Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister.
I hope this event will encourage governments and companies to join efforts to support women, children and families affected by HIV
Arkady Dvorkovich, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation
“The aim of this game is to bring attention to the issue of HIV,” said Mr Dvorkovich. “I hope this event will encourage governments and companies to join efforts to support women, children and families affected by HIV,” he added.
Thanking the Russian Government for taking the lead in hosting the match, the UNAIDS Executive Director noted: “This is not just a game—I am confident that this event will help break the upward trajectory of the HIV epidemic in the region.”
According to government figures, a growing proportion of women across Eastern Europe and Central Asia are living with HIV. In Russia, HIV prevalence among young women is two times higher than among than among young men. Throughout the region, stigma and discrimination prevent women and children from accessing much-needed HIV and other health services.
Speaking on behalf of women living with HIV in the region, Alexandra Volgina, an advocate for the Women’s Network EVA said, “This is the first time that we have come together in this region to talk about HIV at such a high level. I hope that we can all join forces to ensure that political declarations of commitment become a reality on the ground.”
Donations collected during and after the match will be used to finance a project in St Petersburg that helps women, children and families affected by HIV. On World AIDS Day, UNAIDS will publicly announce the results of the fundraising campaign.
This week, the Government of the Russian Federation, UNAIDS and partners will co-host an International Forum on MDG-6—a high-level meeting of representatives from government, civil society, the private sector and scientific community. The aim of the Forum is to foster discussion on progress towards MDG-6, with a specific focus on financing and regional partnerships in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
MDG-6—one of eight development goals adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 at the United Nations in New York—calls for halting and reversing the spread of HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases by 2015.