CONTACT: Cara White, 843.881.1480, email@example.com Mary Lugo, 770.623.8190, firstname.lastname@example.org Randall Cole, ITVS, 415.356.8383, ext. 254, email@example.com Rob Graham, Kaiser Family Foundation, 650-854-9400, firstname.lastname@example.org For photos, please contact: Desiree_Gutierrez@itvs.org
(San Francisco, CA) — Today, more than 20 public broadcast company CEOs from around the world committed their companies' expertise and resources to help combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In response to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's call for media companies to respond to the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic, the CEOs gathered at the Public Broadcasters Global Media Summit on HIV/AIDS to discuss what their companies can contribute and signed a statement of support committing their companies to the effort.
Hosted by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Summit convened the world's top public broadcasting executives to explore the specific ways in which their organizations can leverage their unique communication power to promote awareness and help slow the spread of the pandemic and improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS.
The summit featured the President and CEO of PBS, Pat Mitchell; Drew Altman, PhD., President and CEO, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; Sally Fifer, President and CEO of ITVS; Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy to Africa on HIV/AIDS; and international public television CEOs from over 20 countries.
Participants engaged in an open dialogue with leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS about what they can collectively contribute to help raise global awareness of the pandemic and stop its spread in their own countries. Public broadcasters shared past experiences and ongoing initiatives as well as strategized about new opportunities to extend the reach of communication about HIV/AIDS.
At the end of the summit, all participants signed a statement of support, pledging their personal commitment to addressing the pandemic through their companies' resources.
Statement of Support
“We, the undersigned, recognize that HIV/AIDS threatens the health, security and economic well-being of all nations. As media leaders, we realize the unique role we play in helping to stem the spread of this disease. Through our reach and influence, we are a powerful force for educating the public about HIV/AIDS and, thereby, helping to reduce its further spread and the stigma facing those already living with HIV/AIDS. Therefore, as broadcasters serving in the pubic interest, we resolve personally, as well as on behalf of our organizations, to use our communications expertise and resources to contribute to changing the course of the pandemic.”
Secretary General Kofi Annan first called upon media companies to join the effort against HIV/AIDS in January 2004 at a special meeting of media leaders at the UN headquarters in New York, where the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) was established. The GMAI was conceived of and organized by the Joint United Nations Programme of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Among the notable accomplishments of the last year by members of the GMAI:
• Regional and national-level media leadership summits on HIV/AIDS in Moscow and New Delhi;
• The launch of major new coordinated public education campaigns in Russia by Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (STOPSPID) and in India by the Heroes Project (additional details on both activities are provided in the press packets);
• The first global creative meeting, attended by 100 creative people from 35 companies. Organized in November 2004 at the UN jointly by MTV Networks International, Viacom, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the International Academy of Arts & Sciences, to promote more HIV-messaging in entertainment programming;
• A comprehensive assessment of media campaigns by the BBC World Service Trust to inform the availability of rights-free programming database; and
• Ongoing extensive commitments by MTV Networks and Black Entertainment Television, as part of Viacom's KNOW HIV/AIDS campaign – a three-year, $600 million global effort on HIV/AIDS with the Kaiser Family Foundation.