UN: UN urges collective action to end AIDS epidemic

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said that, while much
has been done over the past few years to halt and reverse the AIDS epidemic, the international
community should strive more to ending the epidemic in the next five years.

PANA in New York reports that Ban made the call in a statement issued ahead of a three-day
high-level meeting at UN headquarters in New York, to propel the global response on a
fast-track approach and chart the way towards ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030
as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event will hold from 8-10 June.

The UN chief stated: "Ending the AIDS epidemic is a crucial part of achieving the Sustainable
Development Goals. The 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on
Ending AIDS can help close the gap between needs and services and advance our efforts to
leave no one behind."

He noted that, participants at the forum will include governments, civil society organizations,
the private sector, and communities of people living with and affected by HIV, as well as
media representatives.

He recalled that, in 2015, the global community delivered on the AIDS targets of Millennium
Development Goal (MDG) 6, which included halting and reversing the AIDS epidemic,
marking the first time a global health target has been met and exceeded.

"Indeed, data show that the number of people accessing anti-retroviral therapy more than
doubled to an estimated 17 million from 2010 to 2015, according to the Global AIDS Update
2016 recently released by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

"The lessons learned in responding to HIV will be crucial to achieving many of the SDGs,
that build on the MDGs and which are being used as a framework for the agendas of UN member states over the next 15 years and particularly SDG 3, which focuses on good
health and well-being and calls for, in particular, ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030,"
Ban stated.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said: "An integral part of achieving that
target will require countries to take a fast-track approach during the next five years in
order to ensure that global efforts are accelerated during that time, as highlighted in
the UN Secretary-General’s report, on the fast track to ending the AIDs epidemic."

Sidibe stated: "We are at a unique moment in history. Over the next five years we
have a window of opportunity to shift gear and put the global HIV response firmly
on the fast-track to end the AIDS epidemic."

"This meeting will be critical to harnessing the momentum we have built since 2011
and securing global commitment to break the epidemic for good," he said.

He noted that, at the meeting, UN member states are expected to draft a new political
declaration on ending AIDS that will include a set of time-bound targets to scale up
the pace of progress, and they will use the zero draft of the political declaration as a
basis of negotiations.

The UNAIDS chief said that the meeting will feature a series of panel discussions,
as well as a number of side events and round tables covering diverse topics.

"Participants will take into account analysis of global data showing that the world
has a window of opportunity in which to deliver focused and effective action by
fully funding and front-loading HIV investment.

"Countries and the private sector must come together to increase overall investment
in HIV prevention and treatment from the US$19 billion available in 2014 to US$26
billion annually by 2020.

"Also, investment in outreach services that ensure that key populations have access
to HIV prevention, care and treatment in low- and middle-income countries must
increase to about seven per cent of total HIV investment in 2020," Sidibe stressed.

Also, the President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft called on all UN
member states to unite at the high-level meeting on ending AIDS, saying: "Together
we can fast-track the end of the AIDS epidemic by 2030."

Lykketoft said that the meeting will be co-facilitated by Mr. Jurg Lauber, Switerland's
Permanent Representative to the UN, and Ms. Patricia Mwaba Kasese-Bota, Zambia's
Permanent Representative to the UN.

The UNAIDS Fast-Track approach to the AIDS response during the next five years
will aim for achieving such targets as fewer than 500,000 people newly infected with
HIV, fewer than 500,000 people dying from AIDS-related illnesses, and eliminating
HIV-related discrimination.
-0-  PANA  AA  6June2016

06 يونيو 2016 21:55:41

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