The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO Delegation is deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Robert Carr, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Coalition of AIDS Services Organizations (ICASO).
Robert was a member of the Delegation in 2009. He was also a personal friend, colleague and mentor to many on the Delegation over the years, even beyond his official term; he unfailingly encouraged us in our work and championed our causes. He believed that the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board was an important space for civil society to engage in and shape the global and regional response, that it meant something and that it was impactful at the country level and, more importantly, for people.
He was selfless in his efforts to mobilize communities and support leadership. He built bridges and aimed for unity amongst a broad HIV movement, insisting that no marginalized communities were left behind. If you ever met Robert, you knew instantly that he was an extraordinary giant despite his small or short stature.
As George Ayala, current NGO Delegate and Executive Director of The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) put it so well, “Robert Carr did these and many other things – and he did them all with grace and elegance. He made us all want to be better, fiercer human beings.”
When we think of Robert we think of his warmth, his walk, his gentle smile and his laughter. When we think of Robert, we think of his principles and his fierce belief and understanding of human rights and justice for all those who are marginalized by society and believed to be less deserving of rights. When we think of Robert we think of his amazing spirit, dedication, passion and charm.
We are devastated by his sudden death. He will leave a huge hole in the global HIV movement. However, it is one of Robert’s lasting legacies that his inspiration and mentorship leaves behind so many others already taking forward the battle.
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