Press release

UNAIDS welcomes Lord Fowler as an ambassador

GENEVA, 30 April 2021—Norman Fowler, the pioneering United Kingdom Secretary of State for Health, human rights campaigner and respected Lords Speaker, will champion law reform, health for all and girls’ education worldwide to help end HIV as an ambassador for UNAIDS. 

Lord Fowler, who steps down as Lord Speaker at the end of April, will take up his new role as an advocate on AIDS in May 2021. 

In his new role, he will focus on engaging leaders across the world in advancing three transformational shifts that are central to ending AIDS: ending punitive laws against and stigmatization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people; ensuring universal access to health care; and ensuring the empowerment and education of all girls so that they finish secondary school and benefit from a dramatically reduced risk of acquiring HIV. 

Lord Fowler served as the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Health from the beginning of the HIV epidemic. He has decades of service at the highest levels of government and has been a champion for people affected by HIV and for the human rights of LGBTI people. 

The UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima, said, “We can beat AIDS, but only through bold action by leaders. Lord Fowler is respected as a great parliamentarian and courageous leader across the world. He has delivered bold change to fight AIDS, and can help other leaders to do the same. We are so grateful to Lord Fowler for supporting us in this way.” 

Lord Fowler said, “As I said when I announced that I was stepping down as Lord Speaker, I am not retiring, only resigning. I am determined to see the end of AIDS, and to see the end of the inequalities that stand in the way of the end of AIDS. We have come so far but this last mile is the most challenging one. The COVID-19 crisis is not a reason to step back but a reason to step up and beat AIDS.”

This is a key year for the HIV response, which marks the fortieth anniversary of the discovery of HIV. This year will also see the United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS, at which leaders will set out the steps they will take to achieve the end of AIDS by 2030.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Sophie Barton-Knott
tel. +41 79 514 68 96

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