President of Xinhua News Agency receives UNAIDS Leaders and Innovators Award
BEIJING, 26 June 2012—Li Congjun, the President of Xinhua News Agency, was awarded today the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) “Leaders and Innovators Award” in recognition of his leadership and contribution to the AIDS response.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé presented the award to Mr Li in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. The award recognizes the key role that leadership and innovation play in accelerating progress in the AIDS response.
With Mr Li at the helm of Xinhua, China’s all-media news group mobilized its public affairs division and conducted a global media campaign to promote public awareness of HIV. In the lead-up to World AIDS Day on 1 December 2011, the group placed HIV-related public service advertisements in more than 10 newspapers and magazines in China. Xinhua also showcased the World AIDS Day theme of “Getting to Zero” on a giant electronic screen in Times Square, New York.
“From a huge billboard in one of the busiest squares in the world to small community publications, Xinhua has promoted public awareness of HIV to millions of people,” said Mr Sidibé. “Mr Li’s bold leadership is ensuring that HIV remains at the forefront of public awareness. We count on Xinhua to be a brand ambassador for the AIDS response.”
“The award is a great honour not only for me, but also for Xinhua and even the Chinese media,” said Mr Li. “Xinhua, encouraged by such recognition and appreciation by UNAIDS, will further its cooperation with UNAIDS as part of its efforts to shoulder its social responsibility as an international multi-media institution.”
With over 30 domestic branches and nearly 170 offices overseas, the Xinhua news agency is the largest in the world. More than 40 of the organization’s news bureaus are in Africa. Last September, UNAIDS and Xinhua signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of Strategic Cooperation. The global media campaign was launched as part of the new partnership.
China is a strategic partner of UNAIDS in shaping the future of AIDS. The country has invested heavily in Africa and its cooperation is key in helping the continent achieve important AIDS commitments by 2015. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will meet next month and is an opportunity for the two partners to deepen dialogue on cooperation over health and HIV.