Reportage

UN General Assembly meets on AIDS

23 May 2007

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At the 61st session of the General Assembly, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed his support to the AIDS response promising to ensure that the international community remains united against the epidemic. “In some way or another, we all live with HIV. We are all affected by it. We all need to take responsibility for the response,” he said. His remarks were heard by UN Member States as he delivered a statement during the review of the progress made towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Speaking for the first time on the issue of AIDS, the Secretary-General presented his vision on the UN's response to the epidemic, promising that: “AIDS would remain a system-wide priority for the UN”; “the UN would deliver as one on AIDS and would further strengthen the already pioneering coordination efforts of UNAIDS and its Cosponsors”, and that he would “make every effort to mobilize funding for the response to AIDS.”

At the Plenary, The President of the General Assembly Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalif gave the opening statement, stressing that AIDS “demands the sustained engagement of the world community” and that there was a need for “those living with HIV and those at greatest risk of infection to be at the centre of the response.” The General Assembly President personally presided over the meeting throughout its entire course.

The plenary concluded with the adoption by consensus of a decision that welcomed the Secretary General’s report and its recommendations.

As part of events surrounding the General Assembly, the Secretary-General met for the first time with his Special Envoys for AIDS—Dr Nafis Sadik for Asia and the Pacific; Sir George Alleyne for Latin America and the Caribbean; Professor Lars Kallings for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and; Ms. Elizabeth Mataka for Africa, whose appointment was announced that day. A number of specific suggestions were given at the meeting to ensure effective advocacy by the Special Envoys on AIDS issues.

On 21 May, the Secretary-General also met with UN Plus, the advocacy group of UN staff living with HIV. The meeting had a strong impact on the SG. “My perspective has totally changed," he told colleagues. "I have met many people in my life -- presidents, kings, diplomats. But this was one of the most important events of my life. I was very touched by their courage.” The Secretary-General also announced that on his next trip to Asia he would visit an AIDS clinic or a similar facility.




Links:

Read UN Secretary-General's speechenfr ) (pdf, 31 KB | 22,3 KB)

Read statement by General Assembly's President (pdf, 28,9 KB)

Read UNAIDS statement on appointment of new Special Envoy (pdf, 25,6 KB)

Read Press Release ( enfresru ) (pdf, 28,9 KB | 51 KB | 40,7 KB | 168 KB)

Read Media Advisory (pdf, 92 Kb)

Download UN Secretary-General's progress report (pdf, 240 Kb)

Read more about the UN Secretary-General's meeting with the UN Plus group

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