The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met together with his team of United Nations Special Envoys on HIV/AIDS to discuss their strategic directions for the year ahead. UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé also participated in the meeting that took place on 10th March 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Welcoming his second meeting with the Special Envoys on HIV/AIDS since their appointment in 2012, the Secretary-General thanked them for their continued commitment and well-coordinated leadership and advocacy. Mr Ban said, “I commend you all for your excellent work in 2013 and am very pleased to learn that you are working closely with other Special Envoys, Special Representatives and Rapporteurs to advocate for and create synergies between your work. I am also happy to learn that you have worked closely with UNAIDS to develop specific strategic directions for 2014.” Mr Ban also welcomed the latest member of the team, Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe.

“They are a dedicated and cohesive team and have been instrumental in advancing efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” said Michel Sidibé Executive Director of UNAIDS. “They also greatly support the Secretary-General and his call for a life of dignity for all and leaving no one behind.”

The Special Envoys on HIV/AIDS are formed by Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, Special Envoy for Africa; Michel Kazatchkine, Special Envoy for Eastern Europe and Central Asia; J.V.R. Prasada Rao, Special Envoy for Asia and the Pacific; and Edward Greene, Special Envoy for the Caribbean.

“We have an effective team with great coherence, and a deep understanding of regional specificities and global issues, and are able to work across areas of development beyond HIV,” Mr Ban added.

Their main areas of work are prioritizing to ensure the prominence of HIV in thematic areas are on drug policy, human rights, stigma and discrimination and the empowerment of women and girls.