Feature story

Michel Sidibé calls for prevention revolution in opening address at UNAIDS’ governing body meeting

08 December 2009

Mr Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director with Dr Paul De Lay, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director
Credit: UNAIDS/Bregnard

The 25th meeting of the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) of UNAIDS opened today in Geneva. The PCB, currently chaired by Ethiopia, is the governing body of UNAIDS and convenes two times per year.

One of the key items on the agenda is the recently concluded Second Independent Evaluation of UNAIDS 2002-2008 (SIE) , which earlier in the year was deemed both a credible and independent evaluation by the Report Oversight Committee. UNIADS has also, through a participatory process by all levels of the organization, drafted a response to the SIE to be will be presented and discussed at the meeting.

The AIDS movement must be leveraged as a force for transformation in global health, development and environmental sustainability.

Mr Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Another key agenda item is the presentation of a report on the anticipated impact that the financial crises will have on countries’ abilities to meet their universal access targets. The presentation will also outline recommendations and mitigation strategies of the impact of the global economic crisis on the AIDS response.

In the opening session, UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé presented his report to the PCB, where members were provided with an update on UNAIDS’ activities since the last meeting.

Members and delegates at the 25th Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS
Credit: UNAIDS/Bregnard

Not just outlining recent undertakings, Mr Sidibé in his address also envisioned two key goals for a successful AIDS response. “Firstly”, Mr Sidibé said, “the AIDS movement must be leveraged as a force for transformation in global health, development and environmental sustainability.”

Secondly, Mr Sidibé called for the mobilization of a prevention revolution. The UNAIDS head stressed that by adequate investments today the number of new infections by 2015 could be halved; “2.3 million new infections can be averted and $US 12.5 billion in treatment costs saved,” said Mr Sidibé.

The PCB consists of representatives of 22 governments from all geographic regions, the UNAIDS Cosponsors, and five representatives of nongovernmental organizations, including associations of people living with HIV. The meeting runs to the 10th of December and the next time the board will sit is June of 2010.

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Mobilizing Prevention as a movement for Universal Access (pdf, 360 Kb.)