Feature story

The President of El Salvador meets with UNAIDS Executive Director

11 June 2008

20080611_PP_Salvador_200.jpg
UNAIDS Executive DIrector Dr Peter Piot
(left) and President Elías Antonio Saca of
El Salvador (right) during the signing of
the Memorandum of Understanding
between the Republic of El Salvador and
UNAIDS.

President Elías Antonio Saca of El Salvador hosted a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot on 10 June at the United Nations HQ in New York. On this occasion, a regional Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of El Salvador and UNAIDS was signed.

Under the terms of this agreement, UNAIDS will provide support for the establishment of a Technical Support Secretariat (TS Secretariat) of the Regional Coordination Mechanism on HIV (RCM) to be located in El Salvador. The aim of the TS Secretariat is to enhance coordination between donors, national AIDS programmes, national and regional institutions, and other public and private sectors parties. UNAIDS will also support the TS secretariat by providing them with key tools, technical resources and up to date information on AIDS.

The RCM is a regional body that supports the management and oversight of the AIDS response in Central America.  It was established by the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) and has already made a significant difference.

This new Secretariat aims to enhance coordination of the AIDS response in Central America by identifying areas of regional collaboration including harmonization of procedures for procurement of AIDS related commodities and supplies and promote partnerships with civil society, private and public sector and donors in the region.

By working closely with the heads of the Central America National AIDS Programmes the TS Secretariat will coordinate the technical assistance needs in the region and widely share information resources, best practices and tools. It also aims to identify opportunities for collaboration with other regional partners such as the International Centre for Technical Cooperation on HIV/AIDS in Brazil.

Regional cooperation in health is recognized as being highly effective for coordination, harmonization and political dialogue.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on behalf of the Government of El Salvador by Minister of Foreign Affairs Marisol de Argueta, and by UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Michel Sidibe on behalf of UNAIDS.

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External links:

2008 High Level Meeting on AIDS official web site