WHO Director-General calls for bold leadership in AIDS response in addressing Heads of States and Governments at the UN High-Level Meeting

Feature story
8 June 2011

Dr Margaret Chan stressed the key role of global leadership and partnership for the future of the AIDS response, speaking at the event of Heads of States and Governments of the UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS on 8 June.

"I would like to congratulate the leadership of UNAIDS for organizing this important meeting," said Dr Chan. "This High-Level Meeting will guide us in defining the best ways to innovate the AIDS response at this critical time. But we should also remember that innovation, if not affordable, can not help us achieve universal access."

Over 3000 delegates from around the world including, 32 Heads of States and Governments are attending this historic AIDS Summit.

Many of them are representatives of community organizations of people living with HIV. Tetyana Afanasiadi, a 32-year old woman from Ukraine spoke on behalf of people living with HIV worldwide at the opening of the High-Level Meeting at the UN General Assembly yesterday.

"I am almost of the same age with the AIDS response," she said. "But every day 8 people die of AIDS and 56 become newly infected with HIV in my country." Noting that her life and health and those of millions of other people depended on the decisions of the High-Level Meeting, she called for an ambitious declaration and the political will of governments to endorse it.

The UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS is taking place on 8-10 June 2011 in New York.