New head of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé sworn in by UN Secretary-General
23 January 2009
Michel Sidibé was sworn in as new Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday. Mr Sidibé took up his post as head of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 January.
After taking the oath of office, Mr Sidibé had the opportunity to share his vision for a re-energized global AIDS response with Mr Ban. Accelerating the work on universal access to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support is Mr Sidibé’s top priority for UNAIDS.
I have no doubt your decades of experience with UNICEF and UNAIDS, including in the field, will be an asset to the fight against HIV
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed his readiness to support Mr. Sidibé, saying: "I want to assure you of my full support in your new role as Executive Director of UNAIDS. I have no doubt your decades of experience with UNICEF and UNAIDS, including in the field, will be an asset to the fight against HIV."
"I am deeply committed to the fight against HIV on a personal level. I have—and will continue—to speak publicly about the importance of making universal access to preventive treatment, care and support a reality by 2010," said Mr Ban.
The Secretary-General also encouraged Mr. Sidibé "to seek bold measures" to ensure that people, irrespective of their life choices, get access to services. "We must therefore continue efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and uphold their rights—including their right to travel."
Thanking the Secretary-General for his exceptional commitment to AIDS, Mr Sidibé asked for his continued leadership in addressing critical challenges and barriers, especially those in achieving universal access and pledged to fulfil the mandate given to him by the Secretary-General.
UNAIDS is committed to solid teamwork with the Cosponsoring agencies and other partners in order to connect the United Nations with people.
UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé
Sidibe described UNAIDS as an organization with a soul. "UNAIDS is committed to solid teamwork with the Cosponsoring agencies and other partners in order to connect the United Nations with people," said Mr Sidibé.