Mumbai: Actor Preity Zinta has been appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in India. Miss Zinta has accepted the appointment as Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). As UNAIDS Ambassador, Miss Zinta will raise awareness on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, with an emphasis on women, children and the oppressed.
Through her many contacts in the Film fraternity as well as the arts, Miss Zinta will support the UNAIDS mission of empowering people – especially women and girls – to protect themselves and live full, productive lives. Miss Zinta will also advocate in combating the stigma and discrimination faced by the people living with HIV through her universal appeal and her Indian Premier League team ‘Kings XI Punjab’.
Speaking on the occasion Preity Zinta said: “All human beings, wherever we are, have the basic right to be happy and healthy. I see this as a great opportunity to bring the realities faced by people living with HIV to the forefront and to call for attention to the injustices faced by them. By putting people first, our priorities are clear, and with many hands – what is difficult becomes easy – what is impossible becomes possible.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Charles Gilks, Country Coordinator, UNAIDS, said: “Goodwill Ambassadors are celebrities with a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of people living with HIV. Highly talented in their own right, they all share an ability to bring issues to global attention, to galvanize support from the public and leading decision makers, and to raise urgently, needed support and attention for vital UN programmes.”
“Today, I am very pleased to appoint Preity Zinta as UNAIDS Special Representative,” said Prof. Charles Gilks, UNAIDS Country Coordinator. “Through her determination to make a difference– I know that she will be a strong and eloquent advocate for an enhanced national AIDS response. I am also confident that the unique presence and passion that Miss .Zinta brings to this issue will remind concerned citizens across the subcontinent of the urgent need for serious and sustained action in the global fight against AIDS – and the vital role of the United Nations in this effort.”
UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassadors represent the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, which coordinates the HIV/AIDS work of UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA,UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. They raise the profile of HIV work and the fight against stigma and discrimination on HIV issues for every affected population around the world.