Press release

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) sign a Framework Agreement on Cooperation

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Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, and Abdou Diouf, the Secretary-General of La Francophonie, at the signing ceremony, 15 December, 2009.
Credit: F. Nebinger

Paris, 15 December 2009 - This Tuesday, 15 December 2009, Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and Abdou Diouf, the Secretary-General of La Francophonie, signed a Framework Agreement on Cooperation between their respective organizations.

At the signing of this Joint Declaration, which coincides with the 25th Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie in Paris, Secretary-General Abdou Diouf expressed his satisfaction: « Our sense of purpose has been strengthened by the new challenges before us, as emphasized by our joint advocacy for the noble cause of AIDS control in the French-speaking world. We have a duty of solidarity to seek ways to invigorate and strengthen ties between La Francophonie and UNAIDS, which plays such a crucial role in this area ».

According to Michel Sidibé, « Today the international community needs to take the fight to AIDS. Thanks to this Agreement, the expertise of countries in La Francophonie can be put to more effective use. The cooperation forged in this area will enable us to develop initiatives and specific partnerships ».

Focusing on institutional dialogue between governments, partners, stakeholders in the field and civil society, IOF and UNAIDS will thus strengthen their collaboration for the benefit of the peoples of the French-speaking world, specifically the most vulnerable. AIDS response aims to ensure universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support. This approach mainstreams the human rights perspective and enhances solidarity, particularly in respect of women and victims of crises and conflicts, which is precisely where the expertise of La Francophonie can make a difference.

The main areas of cooperation, which have been identified with the Operating agencies of La Francophonie, could thus be embodied in new tailor-made agreements built around the themes of democracy and human rights, including legislative aspects of HIV, and education and research, in conjunction with the University Agency of La Francophonie (AUF) and the Senghor University of Alexandria. The International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF) will act as the partner for all city- and community-based activities, and TV5MONDE will handle publicity and awareness-raising.

It should be recalled that UNAIDS, as an official partner, conducted an HIV awareness-raising programme at the Francophonie Games in Beirut this autumn. In addition, back in 2000, the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) established a parliamentary network for AIDS control in Africa.

For more information, visit www.francophonie.org and http://www.unaids.org/fr/  

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