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|Occupation||Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations|
Michel Sidibé (born in 1952) is a citizen of Mali. He has been the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations since 1 January 2009.
He is committed to transforming UNAIDS into a results-oriented organization and to supporting countries to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
An outspoken advocate with a people-centred approach, he has called for the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission and for cutting in half by 2015 the number of tuberculosis-related deaths among people living with HIV. He also champions the reform of punitive laws that stigmatize HIV. He has appealed for the removal of travel restrictions for people living with HIV and has demanded their global freedom of movement.
Mr Sidibé’s passion for advancing global health began in his native Mali, where he took up the cause of the nomadic Tuareg people. His tireless efforts to improve their health and welfare evolved into a role as a country director for the international development federation Terre des Hommes. Since those early days, Mr Sidibé has spent more than 25 years in public service.
In 1987, Mr Sidibé joined UNICEF in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). In his 14 years at UNICEF he oversaw programmes across 10 francophone countries in Africa. He also served as a UNICEF country representative in several African countries, including Burundi, Swaziland and Uganda.
Mr Sidibé became the Director of the Country and Regional Support Department of UNAIDS in 2001. In 2007, he was appointed as UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Programmes and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations. With this new mandate, he led UNAIDS’ contributions to regional and country responses as well as its efforts in global policies, evidence, and monitoring and evaluation.
Mr Sidibé was named one of the 50 personalities of the year from the fields of science, politics, economics and civil society in 2009 by the newspaper Le Monde and in 2007 he was awarded an honorary professorship at Stellenbosch University of South Africa. He is a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France, an Officer of the National Order of Mali and was awarded an Order of Saint-Charles by Monaco. He earned two Post-Master’s Diplomas in Social Planning and Demography as well as in Development and Political Economy from the University of Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand. He holds a Master’s degree in economics.
Mr Sidibé is fluent in English and French. He also speaks several native African languages, including Bambara, Mandingo and Dioula. He is married and has four children.
Criticism UNAIDS has also faced "criticism for failing to remove legal roadblocks to treatment and prevention of the disease in certain countries and for kowtowing to its cosponsors, which have competed for resources and recognition."