Press Release

Fifty-fifth General Assembly


92nd Meeting (PM)



At a brief meeting this afternoon the General Assembly decided that its forthcoming June special session would be referred to as the "special session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS".

Unanimously adopting resolution A/55/L.76, the Assembly also approved the organizational arrangements for that session, annexed to the text.  Those arrangements covered, among other things, the schedule of plenary meetings for the special session, procedures for the accreditation of civil society actors, topics for round table discussion, and an overview of preparatory process for the session.

Also this afternoon, Assembly President HARRI HOLKERI (Finland) announced that he had received a letter from the Secretary-General (document A/55/745/Add.2) informing him that Sierra Leone had made the necessary payment to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the Charter.  [Article 19 of the United Nations Charter states that Member States that fall behind in their dues to the Organization by an amount greater than the dues assessed for them for the past two years, shall lose their voting rights in the General Assembly.]

According to the annex to the resolution adopted this afternoon, the special session would consist of a total of eight plenary meetings to be held from Monday 25 June to Wednesday 27 June.  The last hour of the afternoon meeting on Wednesday will be devoted to the adoption of the outcome document and the special session will close, following oral presentations by the chairpersons of the four round tables of the summaries of the discussions.  The Assembly would also invite representatives from the highest political levels of Member States and observers to participate in the special session.

The Assembly decided that the session would include four interactive round tables, which would be chaired by representatives of the four regional groups other than that of the President of the General Assembly.  AIDS in Africa will be a cross-cutting theme in all four round tables.  The overall themes would include HIV/AIDS prevention and care; HIV/AIDS and human rights; the social and economic impact of the epidemic and strengthening national capacities to combat the disease; and international funding and cooperation to address the epidemic’s challenges.  While the discussions would be closed to the public, participation

would be open to Member States and observers, as well as entities of the United Nations system and accredited civil society actors.

The Assembly also decided that accreditation of civil society actors to the preparatory activities and the special session shall be open to:  non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which enjoyed consultative status with the Economic and Social Council; those NGOs which were members of the Programme Coordination Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); and those approved from a list defined in resolution 55/13.  This list would include associations of people living with HIV/AIDS, other relevant NGOs, and representatives of the business sector, including pharmaceutical companies.

The Assembly further decided that during the preparatory process, one week (26 February to 2 March) would be devoted to discussion of the report of the Secretary-General and to open-ended informal consultations of the plenary.  At the special session itself, the Assembly would consider and adopt a declaration of commitment, taking into account the report of the Secretary-General, and other relevant documents deemed necessary.

The General Assembly will meet again at a time and date to be announced in the United Nations Journal.

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