BRASILIA, 1 December 2010—Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was awarded today the 2010 "UNAIDS Award for Leadership" in recognition of his contribution to social and economic development as well as the AIDS response.
The award, presented on World AIDS Day by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, recognises the key role that Mr da Silva has played in building social justice, reducing poverty and accelerating the country's progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
"President Lula is a leader whose bold action on AIDS has changed lives around the world," said Mr Sidibé, at the award ceremony in Brasilia. "He is a partner to developing nations, stands up against discrimination and a remover of barriers."
Upon receiving the award, Mr da Silva said, "I am very happy to have had the opportunity to advance the Millennium Development Goals and to have helped other countries to do so. The fact that our efforts are being recognized means a lot to me. I would like to share this award with all those who have contributed to reaching these goals."
The "UNAIDS Award for Leadership" recognizes a person or an organization that has made a major and lasting contribution to restoring dignity and improving people's lives. UNAIDS recognizes the key role leadership plays in creating an environment for positive social change and for accelerating progress in the AIDS response, health and development. The award includes a citation and a medal.
A NEPAD Agency delegation led by Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency witnessed the award and joined various leaders including former French President Jacques Chirac in congratulating Mr da Silva.
Dr. Mayaki who is in Brazil on an official 5-day working visit as a Special Guest of the Government of Brazil served as the Lead Panelist at the Africa/Brazil/UNAIDS Joint Seminar on World Aids Day.
During his visit, Dr. Mayaki will engage top Brazilian Ministers including the Foreign Minister for discussions on potential cooperation areas relating to development policy, SMEs, infrastructure, agriculture research, fisheries, energy and nutrition.
The NEPAD Agency CEO's official visit to the economic powerhouse of Latin America attests to taking forward mutual learning and knowledge exchanges in South/South cooperation and the commitments under Africa/South America (ASA) cooperation framework.