UN: UNAIDS to hold high-level meeting in New York on ending AIDS

New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will on 8-10
June hold a UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in New York,
to be attended by world leaders, national and international organisations, the private
sector and civil society groups, a UN statement said on Thursday.

It said that the meeting will focus attention on the importance of accelerating the
response to HIV over the next five years to set the world on course to end the AIDS
epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft will convene the meeting to be co-facilitated by Jurg Lauber, Switzerland's Permanent Representative to the UN, and Ms. Patricia Mwaba Kasese-Bota, Zambia's Permanent Representative to the UN.

Mr Lykketoft said: "We are at a critical moment in the response to the
AIDS epidemic, and all UN member states must work together on a strong political
declaration that will create the conditions needed to fast-track action and end the
AIDS epidemic by 2030."

Also, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said: "UNAIDS Fast-Track approach
has a set of time-bound targets, including reducing the number of people newly
infected with HIV from 2 million in 2014 to fewer than 500,000 in 2020, reducing the
number of people dying from AIDS-related causes from 1.2 million in 2014 to fewer
than 500,000 in 2020 and eliminating HIV-related discrimination.

"Over the next five years we have a fragile 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 and
securing global commitment to break the epidemic for good, and the world urgently
needs to increase HIV investments now or risk reversing the major successes
achieved in the first 15 years of the millennium.

"In 2015, an estimated US$21.7 billion was invested in the AIDS response in low-
and middle-income countries. ​Investments need to increase,​ ​year on year from
2015, up to a peak of 40 per cent higher in 202​0​, to reach the Fast-Track Targets​."

According to Sidibe, adopting the Fast-Track focus on location and population​ and
​reallocating resources to where they are most needed ​would ensure that people
most affected by HIV are reached with life-changing HIV prevention and treatment
services."

"​Achieving all the Fast-Track Targets on time would ​ensure that estimated total
resource needs begin to fall by 2021. Without these front-loaded investments
the world risks prolonging the epidemic indefinitely​," he added.

In the lead-up to the meeting in June, people living with and affected by HIV, civil
society, the private sector, governments and regional bodies will come together at
a series of meetings and events to reaffirm the priorities of the response to HIV.

At the last UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS, held in 2011,
world leaders set an ambitious treatment target of 15 million people accessing
anti-retroviral therapy by the end of 2015.

PANA recalled that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced last year
that this had been achieved and surpassed, with nearly 16 million people
accessing anti-retroviral therapy by mid-2015, which had double the number in
2011.

UNAIDS leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new
HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

It unites the efforts of 11 UN agencies, namely UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP,
UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank
and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS
epidemic by 2030 as part of the SDGs.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  3Mar2016

03 march 2016 17:46:38




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