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UNAIDS and UNOSSC Join Hands With Partners to Pursue the Goal of a Healthier Future

19 August 2014

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Link to to Press Release: UNOSSC-UNAIDS_PressRelease.pdf

Nanjing, China, 17 August – Athletes competing in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games met today with UN officials, Chinese government leaders, National Olympic Committee members, medical researchers and business leaders to discuss strategies for creating a healthier future for young people.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) organized the dialogue session in cooperation with Nanjing Medical University.

UNAIDS has a longstanding partnership with the International Olympic Committee to engage sports organizations in raising awareness about AIDS prevention. “It is our common goal to reach out to as many young people as possible using sport as a powerful tool in the education and cultural programme on prevention of HIV across the globe,” said Djibril Diallo, senior adviser to the UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

UNAIDS has a “Protect the Goal” campaign aimed at mobilizing young people for HIV prevention, and presented a short video on prevention messages delivered in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in connection with the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In Nanjing, UNAIDS has set up an HIV and sexual and reproductive health booth in the Olympic Village. The programme features games, HIV facts, and artwork on AIDS where young people can express their creativity and write personal messages.

UNOSSC has recently joined forces with UNAIDS to provide opportunities for countries from the Global South to share successful approaches to common health care challenges.

Teresa Liu, representing Yiping Zhou, Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation, introduced the South-South Global Health Exchange, a global platform that was established to facilitate knowledge sharing, capacity building and technical assistance for developing countries, as well as market-based transfers of health care technologies and products: “It is my hope that today’s session will inspire new partnerships – among governments, researchers, and health care institutions – to promote better health and development around the world, helping to unleash the potential of developing countries to find transformative solutions”.

Following greetings from Shaojun Chen, the Deputy Secretary General of the Government of Jiangsu Province and Wanjin Hu, the Deputy Mayor of Nanjing, officials from China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission and Shanxi province showcased China’s South-South cooperation in terms of providing doctors, medical technologies and hospital facilities, especially in African countries. For example, since 1982, Shanxi province has sent 34 teams of doctors to Togo, built and equipped two hospitals, and trained a large number of medical professionals. In addition, doctors from the Nanjing Medical University provided information about health care practices and policies within China.

Wilfried Lemke, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, gave a brief but impassioned message: I want to tell young athletes ‘you personally can change the world – not alone, but if we work together’.

His message was amplified by Hamza Chraibi, the Youth Ambassador from Morocco, who asserted that “the Olympic Games are not just about competition but also about teaching values, and sport is the only language that youth from around the world can understand.”

Lindsay Glassco, the International Olympic Committee’s Director of International Cooperation and Development, called attention to the strong collaboration between the IOC and the UN, reflected by the UN Secretary-General’s attendance at the opening ceremony yesterday. She emphasized that participating in sports is incredibly empowering in terms of learning life skills, especially for girls. When she was a teacher in Lesotho, she introduced volleyball for girls in the village, and saw that they became more disciplined and proactive, their grades went up, and they felt more empowered to make important life choices.  She also praised the UNAIDS educational booth in the Olympic Village, saying “We can’t do this alone. We need partners like the UN family, based on our shared concerns and visions for our youth.”

Representatives of private sector institutions already engaged with the work of UNOSSC described their roles in market-based South-South exchanges in the health care field.

Manuel Ortega described the China-Africa Business Council, which was established in 2006 to promote South-South cooperation in a number of sectors – starting with agriculture, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and infrastructure, and later expanding into tourism, real estate and estate. Ze Tao, from the China Foundation Center, indicated that there are more than 100 foundations working in China in the areas of child mortality, maternal health, and AIDS prevention and treatment.

Roger Chen, the CEO of the Junfeng Group, a private company with 25 years of experience in the medical care industry described his engagement with UNOSSC, including cooperation with Mozambique and other Least Developed Countries to promote health-related projects.

The event was supported by companies from China and Uganda engaged with UNOSSC.

UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

UNOSSC

The UN Office for South-South Cooperation works to support countries’ efforts to manage, design and implement South-South cooperation policies and initiatives through the identification, sharing and transfer of successful Southern-generated development solutions. It engages with a wide range of partners, including governments, UN entities, multilateral bodies, private sector enterprises and civil society organizations to provide support to South-South initiatives.

Contact Information

UNOSSC/New York | Teresa Liu| +1 212 906 5336| teresa.liu@undp.org

UNAIDS/New York | Nicholas Gouede | Mobile: +1 646 705 1791 | goueden@unaids.org

UNAIDS/China | Liu Jie | Mobile: +010-8532 2226 | liuji@unaids.org

UNAIDS - http://www.unaids.org/en/

UNOSSC - http://ssc.undp.org/content/ssc.html


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