AIDS response is focus of Francophone cities in Paris
18 November 2013
The Executive Director of UNAIDS delivered a key note address at the Congrès de l'Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (AIMF) at the Hôtel de Ville de Paris on “Shared Responsibility and the AIDS response”. The high-level session was attended by French President François Hollande and President Abdou Diouf, Secretary-General of La Francophonie. The event was hosted by Bertrand Delanoe, Mayor of Paris and President of AIMF and included more than 120 mayors of major cities from La Francophonie.
In his remarks, UNAIDS Executive Director highlighted President Hollande’s leadership on AIDS as an example of his commitment to social justice and cited France’s €1B commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s upcoming replenishment meeting as an example of France’s leadership on AIDS.
President Hollande cited UNAIDS as the example of global mobilization, and reiterated France's commitment.
Mayor Delanoë reiterated the common values of La Francophonie—diversity and the promotion of human rights –demanding that francophone mayors advocate for the right to equal freedom of movement, regardless of one’s HIV status. The meeting concluded with a call to adopt a new resolution for a ‘Francophone world with zero HIV-related stigma and discrimination’.
During his participation at the Congress, the Executive Director of UNAIDS also met with French civil society organizations engaged in the HIV response with the City of Paris. In the majority of Francophone countries, large urban cities account for 20% to 60% of national epidemics.
Since 2001, the City of Paris has devoted €20.5 million to support the HIV response in local communities in Francophone cities, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. With this funding, Parisian AIDS NGOs work in partnership with the City of Paris to support African civil society programmes for HIV testing, prevention, treatment and social support.
In an interactive dialogue, the community of French NGOs called on UNAIDS to continue to focus on HIV in the cities in La Francophonie, many of which are still lagging behind despite commendable progress in the global AIDS response. They called UNAIDS to lead a new global mobilization in La Francophonie for scaling up of HIV treatment and preventing new HIV infections among children.
Excerpt from the speech of François Hollande, President of France addressing Congrès de l'Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (AIMF) at the Hôtel de Ville de Paris on "Shared Responsibility and the AIDS response".
France will maintain its commitment to the AIDS response until the epidemic is over.
I commend the City of Paris for demonstrating its solidarity for the AIDS response. 50 000 people living with HIV have access to treatment every year thanks to your programmes and more than 500 000 people benefit from HIV prevention programmes.
This general assembly of the AIMF should adopt a declaration calling for the freedom of movement of people living with HIV.
For the first time in human history, urban populations now outnumber rural populations. AIMF has taken an innovative approach to address the challenges facing cities today, including water, urban development and finance, education and HIV.
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