Feature story

Sweden and UNAIDS stress the importance of youth engagement in shaping global health agenda

10 May 2012

Swedish Minister of International Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at the UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva. 09 May 2012.
Credit: UNAIDS

An official delegation from Sweden led by the Minister of International Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson met with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at the UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva. Young people features high on the agenda.

“We need to engage a new generation of young people in shaping the future agenda of our international institutions, so that they address the shared challenges of their world,” said Minister Carlsson. “We want future generations to believe in the virtues of international cooperation and to influence and change the international institutions to fit the times,” she added.

Michel Sidibé emphasized his personal commitment to bringing more young people into the ranks of the organization and stressed the importance of the innovative youth-led policy project initiated by UNAIDS called CrowdOutAIDS. The initiative saw the participation of more than 5 000 young activists from 79 countries to develop the first-ever “crowdsourced” AIDS-related document in UN history which will inform the UNAIDS Secretariat’s New Generation Leadership Strategy.

We need to engage a new generation of young people in shaping the future agenda of our international institutions, so that they address the shared challenges of their world

Minister of International Cooperation of Sweden, Gunilla Carlsson

“Nurturing young leadership is essential for the AIDS response to remain relevant to the needs of communities, families, and new generations of young people in a more sophisticated and interconnected world,” said Mr Sidibé. “UNAIDS is committed to engage young people in collectively shaping a vision for global health, social development, and the values of our shared world—a new global citizenship,” he added.

The UNAIDS Executive Director also commended Sweden’s commitment and support to the global efforts to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep mothers alive and emphasized the opportunity to create an AIDS-free generation by 2015.

The government of Sweden and UNAIDS agreed to join forces to promote innovation and new approaches to development partnerships as well as to look for opportunities to strengthen collaboration across UN agencies.

Accompanying the Minister were Member of Parliament Christian Holm, Ambassador Jan Knutsson, Sweden’s Global Health Ambassador, Anders Nordstrom, and other colleagues from Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Mission in Geneva.