Sexual Minorities Uganda congratulates Ms Winnie Byanyima upon being appointed as the Executive Director at UNAIDS
In a statement released by UNAIDS she said; “I am honoured to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” said Ms Byanyima. “The end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is a goal that is within the world’s reach, but I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead. Working with all its partners, UNAIDS must continue to speak up for the people left behind and champion human rights as the only way to end the epidemic.” Byanyima was appointed to the post by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, following a recommendation by the UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations, which after a long selection process.
Her appointment comes at a critical time after a report released by UNAIDS showed that, despite major progress and scientific advances, there is still more to be done to end the HIV epidemic . Last year at least 770,000 people died of AIDS-related causes, and around 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV worldwide with more than half of all new infections being among men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, and people who use drugs among others. We hope that Winnie Byanyima will steer her team to address these issues that will lead to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Having started her advocacy work 30 years ago as a member of parliament in the National Assembly of Uganda Ms Byanyima brings a wealth of experience and commitment in harnessing the power of governments, multilateral agencies, the private sector and civil society to end the AIDS epidemic around the world.
Ms Byanyima will be missed by her former team at Oxfam. The chair of Oxfam Board of Supervisors in a statement said; “On behalf of the Oxfam International Secretariat and our global confederation, I thank our International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima for her leadership, energy and commitment to our mission in tackling poverty and inequality. Whilst it is with much regret to us that Winnie is leaving Oxfam, we wish her every success in this new and highly prestigious role role as UNAIDS Executive Director.”