UN: UNAIDS marks Zero Discrimination Day, stresses need for tolerance

New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on Tuesday called on the international community to celebrate individuality, as it observed Zero Discrimination Day, stressing that embracing diversity brings valuable benefits to all societies around the world.

A UNAIDS statement obtained by PANA in New York, said the theme of this year’s Day is "Stand Out", and it encourages everyone to stand for fair and just societies.

It also stated that people are being urged to value and embrace diversity and recognize the diverse set of talents and skills that each person brings – talents that enrich society and strengthen communities.

UNAIDS Executive Dircetor, Mr. Michel Sidibe, said: "On Zero Discrimination Day, stand out and stand together for the right to live free from stigma and discrimination. and by celebrating diversity, we can transform the future."

Mr. SIdibe, however, noted that discrimination remains widespread – gender, nationality, age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religion can all unfortunately be the basis for some form of discrimination.

"In only four out of 10 countries worldwide do equal numbers of girls and boys attend
secondary school and 75 countries have laws that criminalize same-sex sexual relations,"
he said.

On his part, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a message for the Day, stated: "When the most marginalized and vulnerable face discrimination and abuse, all of us are diminished, and the United Nations is strongly committed to upholding human rights and dignity for all."

Ban said that discrimination in health-care settings also continues to be widely reported, saying: "Imagine a young woman newly diagnosed with HIV being told by her doctor that she must be sterilized, a sex worker facing violence or abuse from a nurse, a disabled person denied access to proper advice about their sexual health, a gay man frightened of disclosing his sexuality to medical staff, a person who injects drugs dying after being refused treatment or a transgender person attempting suicide after being turned away from a clinic.

UNAIDS noted that health-care settings should be considered as safe and caring environments, however, such cases are happening too frequently throughout the world.

"Any obstacles that inhibit access to health-care facilities, including to testing, treatment and care services, must be removed. Access to health must be open to everyone," it said.

UNAIDS is partnering with the World Health Organization’s Global Health Workforce Alliance to develop a plan for action to end discrimination in health-care settings.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 1March2016

01 march 2016 16:01:37




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