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Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy, speaks to 27th World Congress of Public Services International

Stephen Lewis, Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, will be addressing the 27th World Congress of Public Services International (short bio attached)

Tuesday, September 3, 2002 at 11:30 am

Congress Hall, Ottawa Congress Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa

The evidence is clear that AIDS is no longer just a health issue: it is also a development crisis. Among the world’s poorest countries, GDP may fall by as much as a quarter as a result of the epidemic. Within twenty years some countries’ labour force will shrink by 20 per cent as a result of the AIDS epidemic.

Public sector workers are often among those groups with the highest rates of infection. While not every country is equally affected none of us can afford to be complacent.

PSI, and its affiliates, has committed to a broad, community-based response. Trade unions can establish education programmes in the workplace and the community especially focusing their efforts on young people.

Unions already: protect workers’ rights and oppose discrimination; offer support for behavioural change and support those living with HIV/AIDS; set an example of openness and positive thinking at work and in the wider community.

The full release of the week’s events can be viewed at www.newswire.ca under Public Services International.

For further information contact:

Len Bush, office (613) 228-9800, cell (613) 612-1838

Liz Holden, office (613) 560-4280, cell (819) 329-2820



Stephen Lewis is a respected politician and diplomat, and is a passionate humanitarian.

Since June of 2001, he has served as Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His mandate is to ensure follow-up to the April 2001 Africa Summit on HIV/AIDS and to the July 2001 United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS.

From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Lewis was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in New York. In 1997, in addition to his UN duties, Stephen Lewis was appointed by the Organization of African Unity to an “International Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the Surrounding Events.”

In 1990, Mr. Lewis was named Special Representative for UNICEF and travelled extensively as the agency’s spokesperson, advocating the rights and needs of children, especially in the developing world

In 1984 he was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. As Ambassador, Mr. Lewis focused on issues of African economic recovery and climate change.

In the 1960s and 70s Mr. Lewis was elected five successive times as an Ontario politician and served as leader of the New Democratic Party.