Lions Club International signs Central America agreement with UNAIDS and UNICEF
10 March 2008
UNAIDS and UNICEF Regional Support Teams (RST) for Latin America have signed a cooperation agreement with the Lions Club International (LCI) in Central America.
The cooperation agreement will allow the organizations to join forces in response to HIV with the goal of promoting universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care as well as sexual health education and information initiatives in Central America.
The letter was signed by the Regional Director of UNICEF for Latin America and Caribbean, Mr Nils Kastberg; Regional Director of UNAIDS for Latin America, Dr. César Antonio Núñez; and President of the Governor Council Lion’s Club Multiple District D Istmania, PDG Ricardo Domínguez Posada.
The President of the LCI, H.L. Mahendra Amarasurya´s, emphasized the important role that LCI can have to “combine efforts with the United Nations in order to improve the quality of life of the boys, girls, men and women living with HIV, as well as to increase efforts in order to limit the progress of this disease”.
According to Regional Director of UNAIDS, César Núñez, “joint initiatives like this one, with important allies of civil society like the Lions Club, are what is needed in our country in order to keep moving ahead towards the goal of universal access”.
Núñez said that “Latin America has been able to develop good practices in relation to the HIV response which will be strengthened by committed parties such as civil society, Governments and international organizations working together.”
The next step will be to prepare a Letter of Agreement among the three organizations and a strategic plan in order to define priorities and concrete actions to be developed in the future months. The plan will elaborate on activities along with estimated budget, a division of labour agreement and the different responsibilities and resources of the signing organizations.
The ceremony took place on 21 February 2008 during the XXXVII Lions Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean in El Salvador and was attended by six Lions Governors from Central American countries.
About Lions Club International
The Lions Club was started by business man Melvin Jones in Chicago in 1917. Jones believed that business should look than narrow professional interests to the progress of their communities and the world. Jones' personal code, "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else," reminds many Lions of the importance of community service.
Today, LCI is the world's largest secular service organization with over 44,500 clubs and more than 1.4 million members in 202 countries around the world. It has been collaborating with the United Nations since 1945.