NYC: Advocates to Protest Harassment at UNAIDS; Call on UN Ambassador Haley to Restore Agency’s Credibility

Protest TODAY! Wed., June 20th 11:30 am ET @ UN

“UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé is putting himself above the mission of ending AIDS by running a costly PR campaign to keep his post despite calls for him to step down,” says AHF.

NEW YORK--()--Civil society advocates will protest today in New York City outside the United Nations headquarters calling for action on the leadership crisis at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) following a botched investigation of sexual harassment allegations against the agency’s senior leadership. In conjunction with the demonstration, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) appealed in an open letter to the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Nikki Haley, to put pressure on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to resolve the protracted scandal by dismissing UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

WHAT:      

UNAIDS PROTEST at UN – 11:30 a.m. ET Advocates to demand UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé resign or be removed from his position over his handling of botched investigation of sexual harassment allegations against the agency’s senior leadership.

 
WHEN:

WEDNESDAY, June 20th 2018 – 11:30 a.m. ET

 
WHERE:

in front of:

United Nations Headquarters – 420 E. 42nd St., NY, NY 10017

 
WHO:

 

Terri Ford, Chief of Global Policy & Advocacy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

 

John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy for AHF

 

Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy & Communication for AHF

 

• And 20 to 30 advocates protesting

 

B-ROLL:

20-30 advocates with placards, whistles & banners, 3ft world globe balloons

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Denys Nazarov, AHF (323) 533-9842 cell or John Hassell, AHF (202) 774-4854 cell

Women’s rights groups worldwide have intensified calls for Sidibé’s resignation or dismissal since news broke of his attempts to cover up sexual harassment allegations against his former deputy and interfering with the subsequent investigation. Since then, he has doubled down on his efforts to remain in his position by threatening UNAIDS staff from coming forward with future claims of abuse and mounted a costly PR campaign to garner public support.

“Reform is needed throughout the UN, but the situation at UNAIDS has come to a breaking point,” said Terri Ford, Chief of Global Policy & Advocacy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “It requires a special kind of trust from people—and especially from women, who are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS around the world—for the UNAIDS mission to succeed. Secretary-General Guterres needs to start rebuilding the reputation of UNAIDS and bring this scandal to a close by appointing a new executive director and initiating comprehensive reforms of the program with independent oversight.”

The New York demonstration is the latest in a series of similar actions that have been conducted in major cities over recent weeks. The UNAIDS scandal has received significant coverage from mainstream media including CNN, The Guardian, The Independent, Al Jazeera, Daily Mail and others. Other UNAIDS donor countries such as the UK and the Netherlands have also been requested to intervene amidst the inaction of the current UN administration.

“The United States is the largest donor to UNAIDS, and its Executive Director is using taxpayer funds to run an expensive publicity campaign to save his own skin—when that money should be going towards public health programs,” said John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy for AHF. “UNAIDS is supposed to be the global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, yet its entire mission is being undermined due to the unacceptable actions of Michel Sidibé. It began with him mishandling sexual abuse allegations and has continued on a downward spiral ever since.”

Pictures are available on request.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 920,000 people in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications
(323) 791-5526
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy & Communication
(323) 533-9842
or
John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy
(202) 774-4854

Release Summary

NYC: Advocates to Protest Harassment at UNAIDS; Call on UN Ambassador Haley to Restore Agency’s Credibility - Protest TODAY! Wed., June 20th 11:30 am ET

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications
(323) 791-5526
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy & Communication
(323) 533-9842
or
John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy
(202) 774-4854