United Nations – The Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) on Tuesday appointed leading fashion designer,
Kenneth Cole, as UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador.
The announcement was made at a special event held on the eve of the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS opening in New York
on June 10.
Presenting Kenneth Cole, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr Michel Sidibé,, said: “we are entering a crucial phase of the response to HIV and
I know that Kenneth can make significant and powerful contribution toward our shared vision of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
“Cole’s commitment, compassion and resolve will magnify our efforts to include everyone and to ensure that no one is left behind.”
Sidibe said that “in his new role as an International Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, Cole is expected to rally the global community by continuing his longstanding role as an advocate for an inclusive response to the AIDS epidemic.”
He added that Cole was also expected to help with the communication of clear benchmarks and goals in the AIDS response, including amfAR’s mission of finding a cure for HIV by 2020, in order to realise UNAIDS’ vision of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
In his acceptance speech, the designer said he was confident that if people were put at the centre of the AIDS response, the world could realise one of this century’s greatest humanitarian achievement — the end of the AIDS epidemic.
He said “I am honoured by this appointment as UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador.
“I hope to help to intensify efforts to end the epidemic for everyone, everywhere.”
The UN agency said Cole had been a leading voice in the global response to AIDS for more than 30 years and had continued to be a passionate champion for people living with HIV, as well as managed “amfAR”, the Foundation for AIDS Research since 2005.
He was instrumental in the launch of amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure campaign which supports amfAR’s recently opened Institute for HIV Research based at the University of California, San Francisco.
The mission of the Institute is to accelerate progress toward developing a cure for HIV.
Meanwhile, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS will focus on the importance of a Fast-Track approach to the AIDS response over the next five years as the UNAIDS Fast-Track approach aims to achieve ambitious targets by 2020. (NAN)