2011 General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS opens
08 June 2011
Heads of State and Government and other high level representatives representing Member Nations gathered today in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations (UN) in New York for the opening plenary of the 2011 General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS.
More than 30 Heads of State, Government and Vice Presidents will attend the meeting which will include official plenary—in which 150 speakers representing Member States, Observers, civil society and private sector are expected to speak—and five panel sessions along with 40 individual side events.
Addressing the opening UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé called on the gathered leaders to “agree on a transformational agenda to end this epidemic—one that will achieve our vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.”
“Getting to zero is not an aspirational goal or a magic number. It must be our common plan—to be transformed into reality,” Mr Sidibé added.
Getting to zero is not an aspirational goal or a magic number. It must be our common plan—to be transformed into reality
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé
At a press conference ahead of the meeting, Mr Deiss highlighted the significance of the event. “The momentum around this meeting is unprecedented and promises to make this an historic event. We are looking to UN Member States to make bold commitments which will help us reach our shared goal,” he said.
The gathering takes place thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and 10 years since the landmark UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS. 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.
On the final day of the High Level Meeting on AIDS, UN Member States are expected to adopt a declaration which will guide country responses to HIV over the next five years.