Secretary-General convenes information session on HIV in UN workplace

Secretary-General convenes information session on HIV in UN workplace

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On the eve of World AIDS Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today convened an orientation session on HIV in the United Nations workplace as part of his efforts to ensure that the world body becomes a model in responding to the virus.

Facilitated by one of the UN's coordinators on HIV in the workplace, the session was intended for all Under-Secretaries-General and Assistant Secretaries-General based at Headquarters, as well as the executive heads of New York-based UN agencies.

“The Secretary-General hopes the session will provide him and his senior leaders with important lessons and messages, while helping them set an example as managers and colleagues,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson, Michele Montas, told reporters.

While sessions on HIV in the workplace have been offered to the Organization's staff on a voluntary basis in recent years, they are now becoming mandatory for all employees working at Headquarters and in the field. These sessions convey information on transmission, prevention, stigma and discrimination, care and treatment, as well as the UN's policies, initiatives and services.

Also today, Mr. Ban will address a World AIDS Day observance at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan.

Ms. Montas said the Secretary-General would emphasize the need for Government and individual leadership to assure universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support, noting that “We all need to take responsibility for the response.”