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Ban appoints former deputy UN chief as new envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa

Asha-Rose Migiro, Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
Asha-Rose Migiro, Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Ban appoints former deputy UN chief as new envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has selected Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, as his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa – one of several appointments announced today.

During her tenure as Deputy Secretary-General from 2007 to 2012, Ms. Migiro 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, according to a news release issued by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

“A decade ago, HIV in Africa was almost entirely an epidemic of despair,” said Ms. Migiro, who replaces Elizabeth Mataka, who served 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.”

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

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said he looked 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.

“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 stated.

Also today, Mr. 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.”

In addition, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria will replace Radhika Coomaraswamy as Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. Ms. Zerrougui is currently Deputy Head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), where, since 2008, she has spearheaded the Mission’s efforts in strengthening the rule of law and protection of civilians.

It was also announced that Jean-Jacques Graisse of Belgium, who has more than 40 years of service as an international civil servant in the UN system, is being appointed as Acting Head in the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM). He will replace Muhammad Shaaban.