Norway urges knowledge and tolerance to advance the response to HIV
26 March 2014
The Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé visited Norway on 24 March to further action towards ending the AIDS epidemic. He met with a range of partners including representatives from government, civil society and the media. In discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NORAD, and the Ministry of Health he underlined the tremendous progress being made in saving lives and preventing new HIV infections. He also expressed confidence that the target of 15 million people on antiretroviral therapy by 2015 will be reached if efforts continue to be scaled up.
Mr Sidibé thanked Norway for its longstanding support to the AIDS response and to UNAIDS and requested its continued engagement to ensure that no one is left behind. He called for a global solidarity around ending the AIDS epidemic as part of the post-2015 development agenda.
Priorities for Norway include looking for synergies across the development agenda and continuing support for human rights. Norway's Foreign Affairs Minister Borge Brende stressed Norway’s commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to ensuring that the most vulnerable and marginalized in society have access to life saving HIV prevention and treatment services.
The visit to Norway was followed by a consultation with four Nordic governments—Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland—to discuss how to accelerate progress towards the MDGs and how best to support countries in their efforts towards ending AIDS.
“AIDS is a stark reminder of inequities in society and the lack of social justice. Young women, sexual minorities and marginalized populations continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. AIDS cannot be addressed in isolation––it is interwoven with social justice and human rights."
“It is important to uphold a focus on women, girls and youth as well as on marginalized key populations. The discrimination of sexual minorities in many countries represents great human rights concerns, and has a negative impact on the AIDS response. Knowledge and tolerance needs to be increased on all levels of societies.”
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