The India Post,Geneva, 1 December, 2008 : On World AIDS Day the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Mr Michel Sidib¨¦ as the next Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Congratulating Mr Sidib¨¦ on his appointment, outgoing Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot said, “The leadership of UNAIDS is in very capable hands. UNAIDS has a vital role to play in sustaining the progress made in the global response on AIDS.”
Accepting the appointment Mr Sidibe said, “I am indeed honoured to serve UNAIDS. The AIDS epidemic is not over in any part of the world.
We have to ensure that there is strong and long term leadership and financial commitment to respond to AIDS that is grounded in evidence and human rights. I also look forward to working within the UN System and with partners from all corners of the world.”
Mr Sidib¨¦ currently serves as UNAIDS’ Deputy Executive Director ¨C Programmes and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. He brings 27 yeas of experience in international public health, development, and AIDS. With more than 20 years of service in the United Nations, he has worked for UNAIDS in Geneva since 2001 and with UNICEF in New York and in countries in Africa.
He has been the driving force behind the promoting Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. As co-chair of the Global Task Team on improving AIDS coordination among multilateral donors and international donors, he led the effort to align multilateral contributions in support of national programmes and systems. Mr Sidib¨¦ has also served to advance the process of UN reform and strengthen partnerships between civil society, governments and people living with HIV
Michel Sidib¨¦ began his career in global health almost 30 years ago when he became concerned with the health and welfare of the nomadic Tuareg people in the Timbuktu region of his native Mali.
What began as a modest consulting role with Mali’s Bureau of African Applied Research evolved into a position as country director for the international development federation Terre des Hommes. There he helped to establish some of Mali’s first programmes for resettlement, regional development and primary health care.
In 1987 UNICEF recruited Mr Sidib¨¦ to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, commencing over 20 years of service with the United Nations. From there he moved to UNICEF Headquarters, where he oversaw programmes spanning 10 francophone African countries. He later served as UNICEF Country Representative in Swaziland, Burundi, and Uganda.
In 2001, Mr Sidib¨¦ joined UNAIDS as Director of Country and Regional Support, overseeing a reform effort that is recognized as having transformed UNAIDS into a more focused, efficient and effective joint programme for delivering country-level results.
Mr Sidib¨¦ was appointed in 2007 to UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Programmes and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In this capacity, he manages more than 70 percent of UNAIDS financial and human resources and leads UNAIDS’ seven regional support teams and 81 country offices.
Over his career, Mr Sidib¨¦ has personally engaged key world leaders in working toward sustainable and strategic responses to AIDS. He was instrumental to the development of the first-ever Network of People Living with HIV in Burundi, and continues to actively support the meaningful involvement of people living with and affected by HIV in all aspects of the response.
His other significant career achievements include pioneering the first movement for girls’ education in Africa, managing an immunization program for 30 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, securing a humanitarian corridor for providing life-saving medication during the aid embargo in Burundi, negotiating the successful release and rehabilitation of child soldiers from Eastern Congo, and convening one of the first agreements on price reductions for antiretroviral drugs in Africa.
Born in 1952, Mr Sidibe is a citizen of Mali. He holds advanced academic degrees in economics, international development and social planning. He is fluent in English and French, and speaks a number of African languages. He is married with four children
For more information contact: UNAIDS ©¦ Mahesh Mahalingam ©¦ + 41 22 791 4918