KINGSTON, 8 July 2021—UNAIDS is shocked and saddened by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti during an overnight attack by gunmen at his residence this week. It hopes that the First Lady, Martine Moïse, will recover from the injuries that she sustained during the incident.
“My thoughts are with the family of President Moïse at this incredibly difficult moment,” said UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima. “The President was a strong friend to UNAIDS and a staunch ally in the response to the HIV epidemic, both in Haiti and across the region. I am keeping the First Lady in my prayers and hope that she will recover from the injuries she sustained during the attack.”
President Moïse adopted a new Penal Code that addresses the rights of sexual minorities and of minors to independently seek medical care.
First Lady Martine Moïse has chaired Haiti’s Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism since 2017 and is a close ally of UNAIDS. She is also a member of the Spouses of Caribbean Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) and champions its work around the “Every Woman, Every Child” initiative in Haiti. Among Mrs Moïse’s priorities were combatting violence against women and girls, teen pregnancy and human trafficking. She also supported the agenda to prevent and eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission.
The First Lady spoke on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the 2021 United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS last month.
“We must ensure that we empower those persons living with, at risk of and affected by HIV and AIDS to practice safe and healthy lifestyles,” she said. “We will champion enabling environments that are free from stigma, discrimination and marginalization.”
UNAIDS Country Director for Haiti, Dr Christian Mouala, echoed the hope for the First Lady’s full recovery, calling her a champion for women, children and people living with HIV.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.