The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has appointed Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi as a “Global Advocate for Zero Discrimination.”
In this new role, the Nobel Peace Prize winner will call on her fellow citizens and people around the world to eliminate stigma and discrimination, the UN said on Tuesday.
Suu Kyi reportedly accepted the invitation during a recent meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at her residence in Naypyitaw.
“It is a great honor to be chosen as a champion for people who live on the fringes of society and struggle every day to maintain their dignity and basic human rights,” she said. “I would like to be the voice of the voiceless.”
According to a statement by the UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC): “A strong supporter of the AIDS movement, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has publically engaged with people living with HIV as part of her efforts to counter stigma and discrimination. Earlier this year at a major international AIDS conference in Washington DC, USA, she delivered a message via video link, supporting people living with HIV.”
But not everyone was enthused by the appointment. “Aunty! Please do not forget to promote ‘Zero Discrimination’ at home, especially in Arakan State,” wrote vocal critic Maung Zarni on Facebook.