Redefining AIDS in Asia: Crafting an Effective Response
Asia Society and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) formally launched "Redefining AIDS in Asia: Crafting an Effective Response," the first report of the Independent Commission on AIDS in Asia.
Inaugurated in June 2006 in New Delhi, the Independent Commission brought together nine of Asia's leading development economists, policy makers, public health experts, and civil society representatives working on AIDS in an effort to better understand and analyze the disease's impact on economies, societies, families, and individuals across Asia.
Commission Chairman Chakravarthi Rangarajan begins by describing the Commission's work and stresses the need for countries in Asia to act on the report's findings with tangible political and economic support at all levels. JVR Prasada Rao warns that without adequate funding for governmental and civil society health and education initiatives, HIV/AIDS will only become more prevalent throughout Asia in the coming years. Frika Chia Iskandar emphasizes the importance of civil society organizations in helping to fight the disease, particularly among vulnerable populations.
John Tedstrom, Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, moderates the discussion, which also includes Dr. Mahmuda Islam and Dr. Tim Brown, two additional members of the Independent Commission- Asia Society
Tim Brown is the CEO of IDEO, a global design- and innovation-consulting firm. Ranked independently among the 20 most innovative companies in the world, IDEO has contributed to such standard-setting innovations as the first mouse for Apple, the Palm V, and Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” service. IDEO’s work addresses emerging themes such as sustainability, the design of communities, health and wellness, and enterprise for people in the world’s lower income groups. Brown advises senior executives of Fortune 500 companies and serves on the board of trustees for the California College of the Arts, the Mayo Innovation Advisory Council, and the advisory council of Acumen Fund. An industrial designer by training, his own work has earned him numerous design awards and has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Axis Gallery in Tokyo, and the Design Museum in London.
Suzanne DiMaggio is the Executive Director of Global Policy Programs at the United Nations Association of the USA, the nation's largest grassroots foreign policy organization and leading center for policy research and public outreach on the United Nations and global issues. In that capacity, she oversees all aspects of the Association's policy studies programs and activities.
In addition to these responsibilities, she directs UNA-USA's "track two" dialogues with partner institutes in the Middle East and Northeast Asia on a range of issues, including terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional security, multilateral peace and humanitarian operations and UN reform.
Frika Chia Iskandar
Frika C. Iskandar is Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS.
Dr. Mahmuda Islam is a Professor of Sociology at Dhaka University, Bangladesh.
Dr. Chakravarthi Rangarajan is an Indian economist. He served for over a decade as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, after which he served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between December 22, 1992 and December 21, 1997. He also served as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 24 November, 1997 to 3 January 2003. After demitting that office, he took charge as the Chairman of the Twelfth Finance Commission. He is currently the Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.
JVR Prasada Rao
JVR Prasada Rao is the Director, Regional Support Team, Asia and the Pacific, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Dr. John Tedstrom is Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GBC), where he leads the world's premier international NGO uniting over 220 companies in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He is the founder of Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (TPAA) and served as its President and CEO until August 1, 2006. In August 2006, GBC and TPAA initiated a process that will join the two organizations.
Before founding TPAA in July 2003, John served as Vice President for Policy Studies and Vice President for Global Security at the EastWest Institute (EWI). In those positions, he was responsible for conceptualizing and building new programs, recruiting staff, securing funding, and implementing projects in the U.S., Western Europe, and the New Independent States (NIS). While at EWI, John conceived and founded the U.S.-Russia Working Group Against HIV/AIDS along with Leo Hindery and Mikhail Margelov.
UNAIDS Regional Support Team Director JVR Prasada Rao presents statistics of the AIDS crisis in Asia identifying the commercial sex industry as the most important factor contributing to the infection rate.