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ICASO welcomes New Zealand Board member

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

International Council of AIDS Service Organisations (ICASO) welcomes New Zealand Board member.

25 Feb. 14

The Board of Directors of ICASO met in Toronto from January 29-31, 2014 to assess the performance of the organization and make important decisions about how to best support communities, particularly key populations, to engage more effectively within the global AIDS response.

“After a particularly challenging period, I’m heartened to see that ICASO has weathered the storm and emerged a leaner, stronger and more responsive organization”, says Olayide Akanni, Chair of the Board of Directors.

The Board members commended the staff for their unwavering dedication and unanimously reaffirmed their own commitment to achieving the Strategic Objectives of ICASO through ensuring that:

• ·      Global, regional and national leaders fulfill their commitment and apply evidenced-based approaches to end AIDS and promote health, gender equality and human rights;
• ·      Community perspectives and experiences guide all major global, regional and national HIV policies and programs; and
• ·      Community systems for health and human rights are strong, well linked and well integrated with health systems.

The Board also welcomed two new members: Marama Pala, a Maori activist from New Zealand and Rachel Charles, a passionate advocate for the rights of women living with HIV from Grenada. With these two additions to the Board – and the departure of long-serving members Ton Coenen and David Barr, the Board of Directors is now composed of an equal number of men and women, with 4 out of 9 living with HIV.

“While thanking David and Ton for their commitment and dedication over the years, we are also very excited about the new composition of the Board” – said Tony Di Pede, Chair of the Governance Committee of the ICASO Board. “Both Marama and Rachel bring new and fresh perspectives to this global organization that, combined with the current members and the staff, will ensure the full implementation of the Strategic Plan”.

Expressing her enthusiasm, Marama Pala said: “I am looking forward to helping ICASO realize its full potential. I am very excited to be part of this Board and will continue to bring the perspectives of indigenous women living with HIV to the table”.

The Board of Directors also celebrated Don Baxter, ICASO’s newly appointed Vice Chair who was recently honoured as a recipient of the Order of Australia. “If there is somebody that truly deserves this honor, it’s Don” – said Jacqueline Coleman, Board Member. “Don’s passionate commitment to human rights has been an inspiration to many. We are honored to have Don as our fellow Board member at ICASO”.

Apart from reviewing its 2014 programmatic focus, which seeks to ensure that ICASO actively facilitates platforms for mentoring and supporting communities to engage more actively in key policy dialogues and decisions shaping the global AIDS response, discussions at this year’s Board meeting focused extensively on Governance issues and reviewing progress made by ICASO in compliance with the newly revised laws governing NGOs incorporated in Canada.

ENDS

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