UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Visits Minsk

On May 26-28 the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Michel Kazatchkine is paying visit to Minsk. During his visit Professor Kazatchkine will be meeting and holding consultations with a wide range of stakeholders: Deputy Prime Minister, representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Healthcare, Internal Affairs of Belarus, as well as with a number of NGOs working in the area of HIV-prevention.

On May 26-28 the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Michel Kazatchkine is paying a visit to Minsk.

During his visit Professor Kazatchkine will be meeting and holding consultations with a wide range of stakeholders: Deputy Prime Minister, representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Healthcare, Internal Affairs of Belarus, as well as with a number of NGOs working in the area of HIV-prevention.

Apart from that, Professor Kazatchkine is going to visit opioid substitution therapy (OST) programme station in one of Minsk clinics and meet the Chair of the Standing Committee on Healthcare, Physical Education, Family and Youth Policy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus.

The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS is about to discuss national efforts in the struggle against HIV and tuberculosis, as well as to consider the existing difficulties and possible solutions. The visit has been prepared in close collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, and with support of the UNDP and UNAIDS national and regional teams.

There are currently over 1.1 million HIV-positive persons in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Each year, this figure increases by about 110,000 people. Women now account for more than 40% of the newly registered HIV cases. In Belarus, as of April 1, 2015, the total number of registered HIV cases is 18,000 while 14,000 people are living with HIV-positive status.

Professor Kazatchkine was appointed as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in July 2012. In this position, he focuses on building high-level political support for national and regional responses to the HIV epidemic and advocates for improved access to prevention, treatment and care for the populations most in need.

In 2007-2012, Professor Kazatchkine served as Executive Director of the Global Fund. In his five years leading the Fund, more than $20 billion in additional donor commitments and pledges were mobilized. Professor Kazatchkine oversaw a major expansion of the Global Fund’s operations and grant portfolio, establishing the Fund as the major international financer of health programs.

The Special Envoys on HIV/AIDS are appointed to assist the UN Secretary-General in the final stage of the Millennium Development Goals implementation, in particular by helping to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases and begin reversing the incidence rates. In addition, the Special Envoy position gives them an opportunity to explain the stance of the UN Secretary General and to convey his messages to the largest audiences, as well as to most effectively influence the political processes and contribute to the shaping of the development.

 

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