Press statement

UNAIDS welcomes the launch of the Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State

WASHINGTON DC/GENEVA, 2 August 2023UNAIDS welcomes the launch of the new U.S. Bureau for Global Health Security and Diplomacy which aims to strengthen the global health security architecture to effectively prevent, detect, control, and respond to infectious diseases, including HIV. The Bureau will be led by Ambassador John N. Nkengasong, serving as Ambassador-at-Large, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and Senior Bureau Official for Global Health Security and Diplomacy, reporting directly to the U.S. Secretary of State.  

“This new Bureau will seamlessly integrate global health security as a core component of U.S. national security and foreign policy,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the launch in Washington D.C. The Bureau will also leverage and coordinate U.S. foreign assistance to promote international cooperation and seek to enhance protection for the U.S and globally against health threats through strengthened systems and policies. In his remarks Secretary Blinken highlighted the importance of working with colleagues in the U.S. Congress to secure a clean reauthorization of PEPFAR before September 2023. 

During the event, Ambassador Nkengasong announced PEPFAR’s new Safe Births, Healthy Babies initiative—a new two-year US$ 40 million effort to accelerate progress to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in countries with high HIV burdens. The initiative will work in partnership with countries as well as the Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children and will add to ongoing partnerships between UNAIDS, PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the World Health Organization that have led to high HIV burden countries achieving significant milestones on the pathway to eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV. 

“With the creation of the new Bureau and the launch of the new Safe Births, Healthy Babies initiative, the U.S Government is making a strategic step forward to strengthen global health security, advance efforts on existing and future pandemics, and make solid commitments to the Sustainable Development Goal targets to end AIDS as a public threat by 2030,” said Dr Angeli Achrekar, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director - Programme, UNAIDS.  

The launch event featured remarks by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Health Xavier Becerra, USAID Administrator Samantha Power and Ambassador John N. Nkengasong, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Senior Bureau Official for Global Health Security and Diplomacy. 


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
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