Press statement

UNAIDS welcomes the election of Guy Ryder as the new Director-General of ILO

GENEVA, 29 May 2012—The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) welcomes the announcement by the International Labour Organization (ILO) that Guy Ryder has been elected as the organization’s new Director-General. Mr Ryder will begin his five-year term in October 2012, taking over from current Director-General Juan Somavia.

“HIV has had a huge impact on business, industry, workers and workplaces,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “The ILO’s commitment to preventing HIV and promoting human rights at work for people living with HIV continues to play a critical role in the AIDS response. I look forward to working closely with Mr Ryder to increase access to HIV services for people living with HIV both in and beyond the workplace.”

The vast majority of the 34 million people living with HIV are aged 15-49 and are in the prime of their working lives. As two out of three people living with HIV go to work each day, the workplace is one of the most effective settings for responding to the epidemic.

ILO is the cosponsoring organization of UNAIDS which takes the lead on HIV workplace policy and private sector mobilization to protect people living with HIV and achieve zero discrimination in the workplace. The ILO takes action to prevent HIV and ensure access to HIV services for workers and their families who are affected by HIV. It also actively protects the rights of workers, opposing discrimination, and improving occupational safety and health.

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