Dr Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, leads
a tribute to globally renowned Caribbean activist
Dr Robert Carr.
If you attended the Opening Ceremony of the AIDS Conference you might have started to wonder whether AIDS activism is dead. Besides the short thrill of watching the sexy Sharon Stone present a human rights award, and the call by a young African woman for delegates to search their souls for reasons why women and girls like her living with HIV are still on the margins of the response, the opening was largely dominated by the words of safe speech writers. In contrast, militancy was alive and kicking yesterday morning at the Global Village’s opening ceremony. A group of activists chanting, “Numbers don’t lie, politicians do” stormed the speech of the Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray, preventing him from delivering his full speech, and demanding to see Washington DC’s AIDS plan.
There was also a tribute to globally renowned Caribbean activist, the late Dr Robert Carr, first by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr Michel Sidibé who called for a minute of silence to remember this great man who was CVC’s founder; and later, holding back tears, Miriam Edwards of the Guyana Sex Workers Association and Caribbean Sex Workers Coalition said of Robert, “He fought to connect science, leadership and communities. And we are so thankful for that in every way. He is the Global Village.” She then declared the Global Village official open.
The Global Village is open throughout the AIDS Conference and has 27 community based networking zones, including the Caribbean Liming Zone where Caribbean activists will be interacting with conference delegates throughout the week. The Global Village is appropriately housed in the belly of the mighty Washington Convention Centre, with the scientific and academic sessions taking place on the upper decks.