World AIDS Day marked at Doha conference
01 December 2008
Government, international, civil society and private sector leaders have gathered in Qatar's capital, Doha, to take stock of the implementation of the 2002 Monterey Consensus on financing for development. The “Follow-up International Conference on financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus” is taking place against a backdrop of global financial uncertainty. Officially inaugurated on Saturday, the conference runs until 2 December.
To mark the occasion of today’s 20th World AIDS Day, at the plenary meeting in Doha, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a World AIDS Day statement in which he announced the appointment of Mr. Michel Sidibe as the new UNAIDS Executive Director.
The Secretary-General’s statement was followed by a press conference moderated by Mariangela Bavicchi-Lerner, UNAIDS Chief of Donor Relations.
The panel was composed of:
- Ms. Luisa Morgantini, Vice President of the European Parliament
- H.E. Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance, Republic of South Africa and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Doha Review Conference
- H.E. Majozi V. Sithole, MP and Minister of Finance, Kingdom of Swaziland
- Dr. Laila Isharair, Health and Social Planning Advisor, Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning, and member of the Qatar National AIDS Committee
- Dr. Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations and Partnerships, The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria
- Dr. Renu Chahil-Graf UNAIDS Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa
The Minister of Finance, Republic of South Africa and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Doha Review Conference Trevor Manuel emphasized the need on this day to remember the AIDS response.
“This is a financing conference for development and it is important to remind people of the challenges of HIV on 1 December,” he said.
Dr. Renu Chahil-Graf UNAIDS Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa highlighted the status of the epidemic in the Region and noted the positive efforts made to-date which need to be replicated in other countries.
The Vice-Chair of the European Parliament emphasized the support and commitment of Europe and its institutions to the AIDS response and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reminded the audience about the challenges ahead in view of reaching Universal Access.
Panelists also expressed their appreciation for the work of outgoing UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Piot and congratulated Mr Michel Sidibé on his appointment.