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The 2005 – 2010 Global Campaign on Children and AIDS: Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS

An interview with Sir Roger Moore

© Sir Roger Moore Official Website

Pictures Credit to Susan Markisz (UNICEF Headquarters)

On 25 October 2005, UNICEF, UNAIDS and other partners launched the 2005 – 2010 Global Campaign on Children and AIDS: Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS.

The global launch was held at United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) with the participation of children directly affected by the pandemic as well as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Roger Moore, First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame and others. A full report with photos is available here.

 

Sir Roger kindly accepted to answer some questions about his involvement.

You are one of the most important famous persons to commit yourself for that fight. How and why have you decided to join this campaign?

I don’t know if I am the most important or famous people involved in the Unite For Children, Unite Against Aids campaign, however the reasons for me getting involved are very simple – one child dies every minute from HIV / AIDS. That cannot and should not continue to be the case.

What will be your role in the following months and years?

To continue as I have over the last decade, raising awareness and funds for UNICEF to carry out it’s work.

Do you think this worldwide campaign has been correctly promoted through the media, and do you think people take enough action against that plague?

I think it is too early to judge the amount and impact of the media coverage, but one thing is for sure, there will never be enough. That’s why we have to keep on, and keep trying to raise awareness.

I think the effort is mainly focused on Africa, Latin America and some Asian countries. I believe AIDS is also widespread in some eastern European countries, like for example Ukraine, Moldova, etc. Do you see a danger that UNICEF does a little bit neglect these countries (perhaps not only related to AIDS) while most of the attention is focused on Third World countries?

UNICEF’s 'Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS'campaign was launched because UNICEF is seeking to ensure the world wakes up to the devastation AIDS is causing among children, not just in Third World countries, but around the world. HIV/AIDS has left virtually no country, rich or poor, untouched. Sub-Saharan Africa may be the hardest-hit region, but AIDS is not just an African problem. Children and young people are suffering hugely because of AIDS mostly in sub-Saharan Africa where the disease has the strongest grip, but they are also suffering in Asia, in the CEE/CIS region, in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the Pacific Islands.

UNICEF's 'Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS' campaign is global because the threat is global. The epidemic knows no borders. It has spread to every region in the world and affects people regardless of age, gender, wealth, geography or sexual orientation. HIV/AIDS is now the fourth most common cause of death worldwide. Children are affected by HIV/AIDS in every part of the world. Curtailing the HIV/AIDS pandemic requires the involvement of the entire world.

 

Sir Roger Moore, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Whoopi Goldberg and the Muppet Kami stand together at UNICEF House. (Kami, a Sesame Workshop character, appears regularly on the South African co-production of Sesame Street called Takalani Sesame, as a furry five-year-old, HIV-positive girl orphaned by AIDS, who confronts issues related to HIV-positive children in a way that three- to seven-year-olds can understand.)

The disease is spread mainly through sexual contact and blood transfusion. Do you think distributing condoms as well as investing more money in the examination of donor blood can be achieved?

UNICEF does not fund condoms. However, UNICEF recognizes that condoms play
an important role in preventing the spread of deadly sexually-transmitted infections such as HIV and promotes the use of condoms as one of the most effective HIV prevention methods for sexually active young people. UNICEF supports a balanced and comprehensive prevention program that focuses on abstinence, faithfulness, partner reduction, and consistent use of condoms. This is consistent with the “ABC” (Abstinence, Be Faithful, Use Condoms) approach to HIV prevention endorsed by many governments, including the U.S. With regards to investing more money in the examination of donor blood, UNICEF recognizes that this is one mode of transmission and within the UN Agencies, who has the lead role in supporting countries to screen blood.

Could you tell us what will be your further UNICEF trips and envolvements?

I’m about to leave for India on an IDD awareness trip. Kristina and I will be there for a week, travelling from Delhi to Mumbai. Then a few days after returning home we set off for four days in Iceland, for fundraising and awareness. We then take a few weeks off for the holidays, and prepare for whatever UNICEF ask of us next year.

When you rest, and we know it is not very often, what do you do? Do you still draw? You are so good at it.

I don’t get much time to relax, that is true. I like to read, watch a little tv, and spend time with my family and darling wife. I don’t draw much, just the occasionally doodle or something. I also love cooking. If only I had more time …. !

 

 
 
 

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