Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is on mission in the Republic of Moldova

In the period of 25-28 April 2017, His Excellency, Professor Michel Kazatchkine - the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, visits Republic of Moldova for a working mission. The Special Envoy is visiting the Republic of Moldova for the third time.

The purpose of the visit is to reiterate, at high level, the political commitments of the country, and to discuss the steps towards the sustainability of programmes for HIV and Tuberculosis, the increase of country’s investments but also the high-level approach to the modern approaches about alternatives to incarceration for drug users and the improvement of services, treatment, support and rehabilitation for them.

On the first day of the visit, Prof. Kazatchkine will have a speech at the National Antidrug Commission. During the mission, Professor Kazatchkine will meet the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the UN Resident Coordinator and the representatives of United Nations entities, the Ambassador of Sweden, the EU Delegation and other Ambassadors accredited in the Republic of Moldova, as well as with representatives of civil society organizations, active in this field. At the same time, the Special Envoy of the UN, will have a few trips in the field, to discuss the major issues related to the response to HIV and tuberculosis and the balanced politics on drugs at the local level.

On 28 April, 15:00, his Excellency has set the time to discuss with the media. The meeting will take place at the UN House. Journalists, wishing to attend the meeting, shall confirm their presence to the following email: laura.bohantova@one.un.org   

The Republic of Moldova continues to experience a burden of HIV with high prevalence in risk groups and one of the most severe burdens of tuberculosis on the European continent. Injecting drug users remain continuously a group vulnerable to HIV, TB and viral Hepatitis.

The country has made significant achievements in its response to the epidemics of HIV and TB but also in the assistance of drug users. Its good practices in the governance of the multisectoral HIV and TB and the comprehensive prevention of HIV in prisons serve as a source of inspiration at regional and global level. Moldova has a modern regulatory framework, aligned with the international recommendations on drugs, including the prevention of primary consumption, demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction related to drug use.

However, there are important challenges that need to be addressed. The country’s transition to modern approaches, implemented in the EU, as well as alternatives to incarceration for drug users, will bring benefits to the criminal justice system not only in cost-efficient terms but will lead to gradually reduce the crime rate, criminal recidivism and the reduction of the consequences for health, related to drugs consumption.

Professor Michel Kazatchkine has spent the last 30 years on the fight against AIDS as a physician, researcher, administrator, lawyer, politician and diplomat. His Excellency has held important positions in his career, as the Director of the National Agency for Research on AIDS (ANRS) in France (1998-2005) and as the Chairman of WHO’s Strategic Committee and Technical committee on HIV/AIDS (2004-2007). From 2005 to 2007, Professor Kazatchkine has held the post of French Ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases, and in 2007, he was elected as the Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

In July 2012, Professor Kazatchkine was appointed as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He is also a member of the Global Center for Health of the University Institute for International Studies and Development in Geneva and a member of the Global Commission on drug policy.