25/06/2001
Press Release
GA/SM/261
AIDS/24



AIDS QUILT, SYMBOLIZING LIVES LOST TO AIDS, WILL STRENGTHEN EFFORTS


TO SAVE LIVES, SAYS GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT


Following is the text of remarks by Harri Holkeri, President of the General Assembly, at the AIDS Memorial Quilt Unfolding Ceremony in New York today:


As we begin the special session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS this morning, we remember not only those who presently carry the virus, those who are dying from HIV/AIDS or those who might be infected by the virus in the future.  We also remember those who have lost their lives to this terrifying disease.


The quilt, which we unfold this morning, commemorates the lives lost and reminds us of those people who are no longer with us.  These quilts have grown from a single voice of caring to acres of colourful, silent voices commemorating both life and death.


I am convinced that this symbolic gesture -– the presence of memories of those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS -- will strengthen our efforts and will to find a strong global commitment to fight against AIDS and to save lives.


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