Press statement

Asha-Rose Migiro appointed as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa

GENEVA, 13 July 2012—United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed Asha-Rose Migiro as his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.  “Ms Migiro’s experience in responding to AIDS as UN Deputy Secretary-General, combined with her many years as an advocate for health and social justice in Africa, make her uniquely qualified for this important role,” said Mr Ban.

Ms Migiro served as the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General from 2007 to 2012. In that role, she was integrally involved in promoting the AIDS response globally and within Africa, with special emphasis on reducing the vulnerability of women and girls and ensuring the rights of people living with HIV.

“I am honoured to accept this appointment at this crucial moment in the African AIDS response,” said Ms Migiro. “A decade ago, HIV in Africa was almost entirely an epidemic of despair. Today, we celebrate progress against AIDS that we never thought possible. Now is the time to take our efforts to a new level––I am committed to the Secretary-General’s vision that the beginning of the end of AIDS in Africa starts now.”

Ms Migiro served as Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from 2006 to 2007—the first woman to hold that position since the country’s independence. She was previously the Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children for five years. Prior to Government service, she pursued a career in academia, and, served as a member of Tanzania’s Law Reform Commission in 1997 and as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2000.

“I look forward to working closely with Ms Migiro in helping African countries reduce their AIDS dependency and provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “Her experience and leadership will promote African ownership of the AIDS response at the highest levels and reduce the inequities of people affected by AIDS in the continent.”

Africa remains the continent most affected by HIV. In 2010, about 68% of all people living with HIV resided in sub-Saharan Africa. The region also accounted for 70% of all new HIV infections worldwide.

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