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Biography of Michel SIDIBé

Mali > Social : Michel SIDIBé

Michel SIDIBé Michel SIDIBé
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Biography :

Michel Sidibé (b. in 1952), is the Malian UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director .

On 1 December 2008 the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mr Michel Sidibé as the next Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Mr Sidibé took up his new position on 1 January 2009.His predecessor, Belgian Peter Piot, has headed UNAIDS since it was launched in 1995 and had previously indicated his intention to leave office at the end of his mandate in late December.

Accepting the appointment Mr Sidib¨¦ said, "I am indeed honoured
to serve UNAIDS. The AIDS epidemic is not over in any part of the world".

Mr Sidibé holds advanced academic degrees in economics, international development and social planning. In recognition of his achievements in the field of AIDS, he was awarded an honorary professorship at the prestigious Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Born in 1952, Mr Sidibé is a citizen of Mali. He is fluent in English and French, and speaks a number of African languages. He is married with four children.

Mr Sidibé’s career in global health and development began over 28 years ago when, as a young man he became concerned with the health and welfare of the nomadic Tuareg people in the Timbuktu region of his native Mali. What began as a modest consulting role with Mali's Bureau of African Applied Research evolved into a role as country director for the international development federation Terre des Hommes. There he helped to establish some of Mali’s first programmes for resettlement, regional development and primary health care.

In 1987 Mr Sidibé was recruited by UNICEF to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, commencing his career of over 20 years of service with the United Nations. From that point on, his career has been defined by a series of international leadership roles that have earned him a reputation for effectiveness, innovation, and his consistent ability to unite a wide range of partners – public and private, North and South, and South and South – to catalyze and guide change for significant results.

At UNICEF Headquarters in New York, Mr Sidibé oversaw programmes across 10 francophone countries in Africa. He later served as UNICEF Country Representative in some of Africa's most complex duty stations, including Swaziland, Burundi, and Uganda. He also managed large and complex programmes for immunization, malaria, community development, and support for marginalized and vulnerable populations, as well as model HIV programmes for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, civil society empowerment, and the protection of human rights.

Mr Sidibé joined UNAIDS in 2001 as Director of Country and Regional Support department, immediately following the first Independent Evaluation of UNAIDS. In this capacity, he oversaw a comprehensive reform effort that is recognized as having transformed UNAIDS into a joint programme more focused, efficient and effective at delivering country-level results. Driven by a sincere conviction that effective responses to HIV must engage and benefit country partners, he decentralized UNAIDS operations and the provision of technical support to the regional and country level. He also leveraged the comparative strengths of the various UN agencies to redefine their strategic and operational roles to support countries in scaling up their HIV programmes. In 2007, Mr Sidibé was appointed to serve as UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Programmes and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. In this capacity, he manages over 70 per cent of UNAIDS financial and human resources, and leads UNAIDS contributions to country programmes and results through UNAIDS’ seven regional support teams and 81 countries offices.

Mr Sidibé has earned a rapport and respect among leaders in developing and developed countries for his leadership and support in the response to HIV. He has personally engaged key global and national leaders to implement sustainable and strategic action in response to AIDS. As follow-up to the G8 Gleneagles Communiqué, he catalyzed the global movement for Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. In collaboration with UN agencies, he mobilized an unprecedented process of global, regional and country-level consultations, uniting government, civil society, and people living with HIV, which resulted in 133 countries successfully developing ambitious national Road Maps for Universal Access.

In order to translate the commitments of the Paris Declaration into action on AIDS, Mr Sidibé spearheaded the Global Task Team on Improving AIDS Coordination, which facilitated agreement among the leading multilateral institutions and international donors in support of national AIDS plans and systems. He was also instrumental in developing and implementing the “Three Ones” principles for effective national ownership and leadership. These efforts have helped to enhance national ownership and minimize transaction costs for countries. He also introduced a framework of lead UN agencies to ensure accountability for their mandate and contributions to the AIDS response at the country level. In the development of these initiatives, his efforts have consistently advanced the imperative of UN reform to “deliver as one”. More recently, Mr Sidibé has advocated for unifying the long-term objectives of health systems strengthening and reversing the AIDS epidemic. He has led UNAIDS' institutional support to the International Health Partnership, and represents UNAIDS in meetings of the H8 group of health-related organizations.

Mr Sidibé was instrumental to the development of the first-ever Network of People living with HIV in Burundi, and continues to also actively support and promote the meaningful involvement of people living with and affected by HIV in all aspects of the response. He has also played a pivotal role in strengthening UNAIDS collaboration with key HIV global partners, including the Global Fund, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and private enterprises such as Coca-Cola, Accenture, Shell, Merck and Zogby International.

Mr Sidibé’s other significant career achievements include pioneering the first movement for girls' education in Africa, managing an immunization program for 30 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, securing a humanitarian corridor for the provision of life saving medication during the aid embargo in Burundi, negotiating the successful release and rehabilitation of child soldiers from Eastern Congo, and convening one of the first agreements on price reductions for antiretroviral drugs in Africa.

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Last update : 12/15/2008

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