Tuesday, July 17, 2012
MIGIRO TO REPRESENT UN ON HIV/AIDS IN AFRICA
Asha-Rose Migiro Named Special UN Envoy For HIV/AIDS In Africa 7/15/2012 3:56 AM ET (RTTNews) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, as his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, among several appointments announced Saturday. Migiro, who was Deputy Secretary-General from 2007 to 2012, has played a pivotal role 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, according to a news release issued by the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). "A decade ago, HIV in Africa was almost entirely an epidemic of despair," said Migiro, who replaces Elizabeth Mataka. Incidentally, Mataka has been serving in the position since 2007. "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," Migiro added. Africa remains the continent most affected by HIV, according to UNAIDS. In 2010, about 68 percent of all people living with HIV resided in sub-Saharan Africa. The region also accounted for 70 percent of all new HIV infections worldwide. The UN press release quoted UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe as saying that he looks forward to working closely with Migiro in helping African countries reduce their AIDS dependency and provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. "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," he said. Also on Saturday, Ban appointed Gordon Brown, the former British Prime Minister, to serve as the UN Special Envoy for Global Education. "As Special Envoy, Mr. Brown will devote himself to working closely with all key partners to help galvanize support for the Secretary-General's Global Initiative on Education (Education First), which aims to achieve quality, relevant, and inclusive education for every child," stated the announcement. "He will focus on countries with the highest burden of children out of school, recognizing that nearly half of out of school children are in countries affected by conflict. He will help bring about change, mobilize resources and generate additional and sufficient funding," it added. In addition, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria will replace Radhika Coomaraswamy as Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. Zerrougui is currently Deputy Head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), where she has spearheaded the Mission's efforts since 2008 in strengthening the rule of law and protection of civilians.