CONCACAF President honoured at Confederation inaugural Sports Summit
Cayman Islands, 21 October 2013 —The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will announce today, at the 2013 CONCACAF Sports Summit, that Jeffrey Webb, President of the North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), has been awarded the prestigious 2013 UNAIDS “Protect the Goal” Special Award for the Diaspora.
The announcement will be made by Dr. Djibril Diallo, Senior Adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS at the summit’s opening Gala hosted by President Jeffrey Webb, alongside prominent guests including FIFA President Joseph Blatter, among other personalities of the world of football and culture. Webb has been honored with the recognition award for his exceptional work in utilizing sport to advocate for social development.
The “Protect the Goal” campaign aims to raise awareness of HIV and mobilize young people to commit to HIV prevention. The special award, which is being bestowed upon for the first time to an individual, highlights the value of football as a tool for social change and emphasizes the importance of social responsibility for featuring those individuals and organizations who play an important role in promoting the culture of social good and advocacy for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention through sport. The award is presented to individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to social good through the UN agency’s “Protect the Goal” campaign.
“We are honored to have been awarded the first UNAIDS Protect the Goal Award, recognizing CONCACAF’s commitment to social development through football,” said Webb. “CONCACAF is committed to working with the popularity of football to effect positive change in society. Advocacy for HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the community both in our region and the world is a vital part of that mission. We are proud that our commitment in this area has been recognized.”
The “Protect the Goal” Award ceremony will take place on January 15, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal, at a star-studded gala event during the fourth Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit. The theme of the youth summit, which will be held under the effective chairmanship of President Mack Sall of Senegal, is: “Youth unemployment in the post-2015 development agenda of the United Nations.” A youth delegation from the Americas is expected to attend the Dakar summit, which falls within the framework of efforts to support the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s 1000 Days of Action campaign to accelerate the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The 41-member Confederation is keen to increase education of HIV to ensure that young people are afforded access to medical facilities, proper medication, treatment and counseling.
Globally, an estimated 4.6 million young people (15-24 years of age) are living with HIV. About 2 300 young people are infected with HIV each day. Many young people living with HIV, who are eligible for treatment lack access or do not know their HIV status. The "Protect the Goal" campaign also stresses the need for ensuring all the 15 million people eligible for life-saving antiretroviral treatment can access it by 2015. In Latin America, the situation among youth is of particular concern. Less than 30% of 15-24 year olds could correctly identify how to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, and condom use in this age group remains low, while only 30% of women aged 20 to 24 report using condoms during their last sexual activity.
As the world of football converges on the Cayman island for the CONCACAF Sports Summit, a new report from UNAIDS shows dramatic acceleration towards reaching 2015 global targets on HIV. New HIV infections among adults and children were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, a 33% reduction since 2001. New HIV infections among children have been reduced to 260 000 in 2012, a reduction of 52% since 2001. AIDS-related deaths have also dropped by 30% since the peak in 2005 as access to antiretroviral treatment expands.
[caption id="attachment_71708" align="aligncenter" width="770"] CONCACAF and UNAIDS promote the Protect the Goal campaign during the 2013 Gold Cup final game on July 28th at the Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago.[/caption]