World AIDS Day forum at UNESCO: 'AIDS Year 24: mobilized on all fronts'To mark World AIDS Day, December 1, UNESCO has organized a forum entitled: “AIDS Year 24: Mobilized on All Fronts”, to be held at Headquarters (Room I, 2.30 p.m.). UNESCO is chairing the Organizing Committee of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, this year.
The HIV/AIDS virus has killed 26 million people, half of them women, in 23 years. Sixty-eight million are expected to die by the year 2020.
The forum will be opened by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, who will talk about the Organization's work in the field of preventative education and will highlight the assistance given to populations affected by the pandemic by other United Nations organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Forum participants include: Jean-François Mattéi, France's Minister of Health, the Family and the Handicapped, Mireille Guigaz, Director of Development and Technical Cooperation at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marc Gentilini, the President of the French Red Cross, and Lotti Latrous of Switzerland, the founder of Centre L'Espoir, a hospital and hospice for the dying that she runs in a shanty town in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire. Ms Latrous’ account will be accompanied by a slide show of photographs of people living with AIDS in Côte d’Ivoire. Also present will be a large number of physicians and scientists working in France and Africa.
Four themes will be discussed: how to fight the serious rise in high risk behaviour; how to circumvent the growing danger of viral strains that are resistant to tritherapies; how to import anti-viral treatments at low cost into countries that are at risk of being decimated by the pandemic; and ways to reduce women's extreme vulnerability to AIDS in developing countries.
After a musical finale by the Chinese pianist Wu Mu Ye, journalists will be able to meet and interview participants at a reception.
Journalists wishing to attend the event should contact UNESCO’s Press Service
tel. +33 (0)1 45 68 17 47.