|During HIV/AIDS conference Georgian First Lady addresses UN General Assembly|
|June 20, 2008|
June 20, 2008
World leaders and all sectors of the international community including governments, civil society and private sector gathered to evaluate recent progress in fighting against HIV/AIDS at the General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS held on June 11 and 12 in New York City.
The event was supposed to focus international attention on the close and deadly relationship between HIV/AIDS and tuberculoses. The main objectives also included reviewing progress towards the targets agreed upon by the General Assembly in its 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and its 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, discussing the means of HIV prevention and renewing political commitment.
According to statistics there are approximately 14 million people afflict by TB and HIV/AIDS worldwide.
The High-Level Meeting on AIDS officially opened on Tuesday with a General Assembly plenary session. Statements were made by the President of the General Assembly Srgjan Kerim, the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and an HIV-positive member of Coordination of Action Research on AIDS.
As the UN General Assembly President and the chair of the High Level Meeting remarked “global health community cannot separate the fight against HIV/AIDS and the fight against tuberculosis.” Former president of the United Stats Bill Clinton also addressed the assembly and highlighted that “rising oil prices worldwide are hampering efforts to fight HIV in developing countries.”
The Georgian Delegation attending the High Level Meeting on Aids was headed by the first lady Sandra Roelofs who addressed the General Assambly on June 11.
On the first day of the high-level meeting the international community discussed the contributions made in response to AIDS in accordance with report of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which placed emphases on reduces in new HIV infections and AIDS death over the past ten years.
The Secretary-General’s report was mainly based on analysis of 147 government’s national reports that described 25 indicators developed by states in support of implementation of the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.
Despite the fact that during previous years there has been made significant advance in fighting with HIV, and increasing the funds, which last year totaled USD10 billion, UN Secretary-General highlighted the fact that gap between real need and available resources to achieve “universal access goals” impedes the efforts.
As he declared “The world will fall short of achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in the absence of a significant increase in the level of resources available for HIV programs in low- and middle-income countries.”
Executive Director of the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Dr. Peter Piot also underlined the fact that there was need of much more commitment to HIV Prevention.
“Every day, almost 7,000 people are needlessly infected with HIV because they do not have access to proven interventions to prevent transmission. It is time to act,” – he stated.
According to the report of the UN Secretary-General “33.2 million people worldwide was living with HIV for December 2007. The annual rate of new HIV infections has been decreased for the last decade, with an estimated 2.5 million people newly infected with HIV in 2007 – down from 3.2 million in 1998. The annual number of AIDS deaths has declined from 3.9 million in 2001 to 2.1 million in 2007.”
As the report says even though new infections rate has been fallen worldwide, the amount of newly infected people has increased in some countries including Russia, Ukraine, China, Indonesia and some European Union and North American states.
On the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS UN Development Program (UNDP) and Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS announced 25 winners of Red Ribbon Award 2008 for demonstrating most distinguished and remarkable efforts towards resisting the spread of HIV/AIDS. Red Ribbon represents “a global symbol in the movement to address AIDS.”
These awards highlight the fact that often most remarkable, effective and innovative responses to global epidemic are made by small community organizations.
Community-based organizations awarded by Red Ribbon this year include organizations from states like Ghana, Kenya, Cameron, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Estonia, Russia, Mexico and Iran. Two representatives from each organization will participate in XVII International Conference that will be held in Mexico in August 3-8, 2008.
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