Stephen Lewis’ talk (entitled “World Issues – Local Impact”) will provide insight into his role as the U.N. Special Envoy for the HIV Pandemic in Africa, and how this role relates to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. He submits that universities are, first and foremost, centres of academic excellence and academic inquiry. But if they are to be relevant to the modern world, they must be familiar with the nature of their own community. In essense, knowledge of this local community is crucial to the understanding of ones obligations to the wider world. Mr. Lewis will explore these themes, drawing on personal experience to make his case.
Stephen Lewis is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, a post he has held since June 2001. He is a Commissioner for the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, and a Senior Advisor to the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. Mr. Lewis is also Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which is dedicated to easing the pain of HIV/AIDS in Africa. He has received many accolades including 22 honorary degrees, a Companion of the Order of Canada, Maclean’s Magazine 2003 “Canadian of the Year,” and in April 2005, was listed as one of the “100 most influential people in the world” by TIME magazine. Recently, he was the 2005 CBC Massey Lecturer, the first of which was held at UBC last year.