The UN programme dedicated to the elimination of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, has welcomed on 14 August the appointment of Winnie Byanyima as its new executive director.

Byanyima, a prominent Ugandan diplomat and humanitarian, will be the first woman executive director to lead the agency since its launch in 1996.

She became the Director of Women and Development at the African Union Commission, in 2004, working on the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, an important tool for reducing the effect of HIV on the lives of women in Africa.

The UN chief, António Guterres, appointed Byanyima as the UNAIDS Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General “following a comprehensive selection process”, the statement says.