Ambassador Brewster’s Speech at CONAVIHSIDA Recognition

Ambassador Brewster’s speech during CONAVIHSIDA’s recognition of his contributions to Human Rights and the National HIV Response in the Dominican Republic-January 16, 2017


–        Dr. Víctor Terrero, Director of CONAVIHSIDA

–        Ms. Dulce Amonte, President of the Network of People Living with HIV

–        Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the press


It is humbling to be here with this distinguished group of people today, which very appropriately coincides with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in the United States. The holiday was established to commemorate the principles of courage, truth, justice, compassion, humility, and community service. Dr. King himself said that “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The work of those present to overcome HIV as a public health crisis in the country –

  • COIN,
  • the National Health Service,
  • the Ministry of Health, and
  • our United Nations colleagues –

is critical not just because it is life-saving but, just as importantly, because it serves to uplift the human rights and dignity of those who are still marginalized in the country.

So it is with great humility that I accept this award from you, and I encourage you to keep giving voice to this issue which matters so much.  As Dr. King said, “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

And I want you to know that no matter where we are you will continue to have Bob and I’s support.  Thank you very much.