Feature story

The AIDS pandemic at 30 years: Council on Foreign Relations host moderated discussion ahead of High Level Meeting on AIDS

07 June 2011

(Left to Right): Seth Berkley, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Paul De Lay, Robert C. Orr at Council on Foreign Relations for panel titled: AIDS 2001 - 2011: Then and Now.
Credit: UNAIDS/B. Hamilton

Ahead of the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS which will begin on 8 June, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) hosted a side event on 6 June at The Harold Pratt House in New York.

The evening, co-organized by the Global Health Program of the CFR and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reviewed the last decade of progress and lessons learned since the landmark 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS and the Declaration of Commitment.

The discussion focused on women and children's health and the prevention of new HIV infections among children. There was considered reflection on the need to engage donors and have good accountability frameworks. Best practices in specific countries were explored, including Botswana. South Africa and Nigeria were both cited as examples of countries with very strong responses.

The guest speakers were Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination, United Nations; and Paul De Lay, Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS. The discussion was moderated by Seth Berkeley of IAVI.

Dr De Lay described how much has been achieved in the AIDS response in the recent past: “Ten years ago, no one thought we could overcome stigma and discrimination, and we’ve proved them wrong.” Looking ahead to the High Level Meeting on AIDS Dr De Lay described its significance saying “We are charting the way forward for the next 10 years of the response.”

Council on Foreign Relations

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.

UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and 10 years since the landmark UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the world has come together to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response at the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS from 8–10 June 2011 in New York. Member States are expected to adopt a new Declaration that will reaffirm current commitments and commit to actions to guide and sustain the global AIDS response.