Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, writes how it is the rich world that is gaining the most from Africa’s progress. Image: Oxfam
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Winnie Byanyima leaves Oxfam to join UNAIDS as Executive Director

Winnie Byanyima, renowned human rights advocate and former Ugandan Member of Parliament has left Oxfam after seven years to join UNAIDS as its Executive Director. The appointment has been widely praised and shared across social media.

Ugandan activist Winnie Byanyima, a human rights advocate and former Ugandan Member of Parliament has accepted the offer to head UNAIDS. In response to her new appointment Ms Byanyima wrote on Twitter, “I am excited and honoured to be returning to the UN to lead and coordinate the global AIDS response at this critical moment. I am looking forward to joining the brilliant staff at UNAIDS”.

Prior to her new appointment, Byanyima served as Executive Director of Oxfam International, a world-wide development organisation that mobilises the power of people against poverty. Dr Henrietta Campbell, Chair of Oxfam Board of Supervisors said in a press release, “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. Winnie Byanyima joined Oxfam International as the Secretariat’s Executive Director in May 2013″.

“Winnie has been a hugely influential figure during her tenure here, particularly in launching a significant organisational restructure that has helped to embed Oxfam’s work and our decision-making more firmly in the Global South, including relocating our International Secretariat to Nairobi, all to be closer to the people we exist to serve”.

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In a press release by 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 towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Byanyima further said, “An honour to be asked to lead the UN and global HIV response! I embrace the role with humility, passion and faith that we can end this pandemic by 2030. I look forward to joining UNAIDS team and working closely with co-sponsors and partners to remove barriers to prevention, treatment and care”.

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