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WHO welcomes the new Executive Director of UNAIDS

Statement by WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan

1 December 2008

On behalf of WHO, I offer our warmest congratulations to Michel Sidibé on his appointment as Executive Director of UNAIDS, and express our firm commitment and full support to him in his new position.

WHO has a particularly close working relationship with UNAIDS. We strive together to assist countries in rapidly expanding prevention, care and treatment services towards the goal of universal access. We work to overcome stigma and discrimination, and we engage together with people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The global response to HIV/AIDS demands visionary leadership. I know that Mr Sidibé will provide this, and I look forward to working closely with him in the coming months and years.

I would also like to express my deep appreciation to Dr Peter Piot. I have had the honour of working closely with Dr Piot over the last two years, and have admired his extraordinary leadership, wisdom, vision and energy. I know that he is leaving UNAIDS in very good hands, and will continue to make a significant contribution to global health in his future role.

Mr Sidibé brings great strengths to this key position. His profound understanding of the epidemic, his experience in many countries of Africa, his detailed knowledge of UNAIDS and the United Nations, and his close working relationships with civil society organizations and other partners stand him in good stead for the responsibilities he is now taking on. I am sure we can all look forward to working closely with Mr Sidibé in the years ahead.