UN:(1/12/2007):Marking the 20th annual World AIDS Day, Saturday, 1st December 2007, top United Nations officials have called for renewed leadership to tackle the global HIV and AIDS epidemic which has already claimed over 25 million lives worldwide.
Calling AIDS “a disease unlike any other,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for strong leadership in a number of areas, saying that “without it, we will never get ahead of the epidemic.”
In her message to mark the Day, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, stressed that the first and primary leadership call is for Governments to step forward and provide the basic human rights guarantees necessary for HIV to be overcome.
In a major report released ahead of World AIDS Day, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) called for paying greater attention to the link between hunger and health, pointing out that food is often cited as the greatest need by people living with HIV/AIDS.
Meanwhile, a new United Nations-backed survey showed that about one third of the people in seven wealthy nations admit they know little or nothing about the global HIV and AIDS crisis, and 25 per cent believe problems associated with the epidemic are “greatly exaggerated” by the media. A new United Nations-backed survey showed that about one third of the people in seven wealthy nations admit they know little or nothing about the global HIV and AIDS crisis, and 25 per cent believe problems associated with the epidemic are “greatly exaggerated” by the media.
The Global AIDS Attitudes Survey, published by the non-governmental organization World Vision, revealed the awareness and attitudes of populations in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – all members of the “Group of Eight” industrialized nations – towards those affected by HIV and AIDS globally.
Speaking at the launch of the Survey at UN Headquarters, , the Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in New York underlined that “the more we understand the epidemic, the better we can make policies, the better we can make programmes.
At the same time, and on the eve of World AIDS Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened an orientation session on HIV in the United Nations workplace as part of his efforts to ensure that the world body becomes a model in responding to the virus. Mr. Ban had also addressed a World AIDS Day observance at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan.