UNAIDS Special Ambassador receives UNWDPA Leadership Award

23 March 2018

The United Nations Women for Peace Association (UNWDPA) has honoured Lorena Castillo de Varela, the First Lady of Panama and UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America, with its Leadership Award. The award was made in recognition of her work in the response to HIV and the promotion of human rights and women’s empowerment.

Presented at the UNWDPA Annual Award Luncheon, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America, on International Women’s Day, the award honours people who have made a difference to the lives of women and girls.

Since her appointment as a UNAIDS Special Ambassador in 2016, Lorena Castillo de Varela has led a zero discrimination campaign that has gone beyond the borders of Panama and become internationally recognized. In her role as Chairwoman of the National AIDS Commission, she catalysed support from 45 governmental institutions to sign an act of commitment to promote HIV prevention and zero discrimination. 


“Zero discrimination is the underlying message of everything I do. Each of us must continue to use our voices and actions to ensure that all people, especially young women, find their voices to embrace their right to live full and exceptional lives.”

Lorena Castillo de Varela First Lady of Panama and UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America

“This award is testament to Lorena Castillo de Varela’s commitment to zero discrimination. She is a powerful and passionate advocate who works tirelessly to leave no one behind.”

César A. Núñez Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Latin America and the Caribbean

UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America

First Lady of Panama Lorena Castillo de Varela