UN Security Council calls for more global action against AIDS

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Security Council on Tuesday underlined the
continuing need for urgent and coordinated global action to curb the impact of HIV and AIDS in conflict and post-conflict situations.

It also stressed the important role UN peacekeeping operations could play
in responding to the epidemic.

The Council's meeting was convened by President of Gabon, Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba, whose country holds the rotating presidency for June.

In a resolution adopted unanimously at the meeting on the impact of HIV/AIDS on international peace and security, the Council recognised that UN peacekeeping operations could be important contributors to an integrated response to HIV and AIDS.

It stated that HIV poses one of the most formidable challenges to the
development, progress and stability of societies and requires an "exceptional and comprehensive” global response.

The meeting marks the second time that the 15-member body has discussed
HIV and AIDS in the Council.

In January 2000, it adopted resolution 1308 in which it recognised
the potential of the epidemic, which, if unchecked, could pose a risk to stability and security.

It also focused on the potential of HIV and AIDS to affect the health of UN
peacekeeping personnel.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his remarks to the meeting, said:
"Whenever AIDS is part of the equation, the United Nations is working to be
part of the solution."

Ban noted that before resolution 1308 was adopted, uniformed personnel
were viewed in terms of the risk they might pose to civilians.

"Now we understand that UN troops and police are part of prevention, treatment and care."

For UN personnel, pre-deployment HIV training is standard, he noted,
saying that more than 1,500 peacekeepers have been trained as peer

The UN chief also disclosed that the number of blue helmets seeking
voluntary counselling and testing increased from fewer than 2,000 to
more than 14,000 in just five years.

He urged all member states to link efforts to combat HIV and AIDS
with the campaigns against sexual violence and for the rights of women.

"This means addressing the dangerous interaction between AIDS, the
international drug trade, sex trafficking and the abuse of women.

"We also need action after the ink dries on agreements and the guns
fall silent. We need to help shattered societies prevent the spread of HIV.
And we must provide treatment to everyone who needs it.”

Also speaking, Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the Joint UN
Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), which last month published a
report along with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO),
outlined the progress made and the obstacles encountered in implementing
resolution 1308.

He noted that significant progress has been made in providing access to
HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for all sections of society, including peacekeepers and other uniformed personnel.

"Nevertheless, during the past 10 years, the evolving landscape of crises and conflicts throughout the world has reshaped these challenges and underscored the need for a new response to AIDS in the context of United Nations actions to help prevent conflict, ensure security and build peace,” he said.

This week’s high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly provides an
opportunity for member states, 30 years into the epidemic and 10 years since the General Assembly’s Special Session on HIV and AIDS in 2001, to review progress and to chart the future course of the global AIDS response.

In the 30 years since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, more than 60 million people have been infected, at least 25 million people have died and more than 16 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic.
-0- PANA AA/MA 7June2011

07 june 2011 20:18:11

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