Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Ferit Hoxha, Permanent Representative
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
FERIT HOXHA ( Albania) said HIV/AIDS was not just a health issue, but was emerging as one of the most important elements in economic development and security of current times. Noting that this week’s High-Level Meeting took place three decades after the epidemic was first identified and 10 years after the General Assembly’s 2001 Special Session on HIV/AIDS, he said it was fitting to commend the efforts of the international community and the United Nations, particularly its specialized agencies, which had strengthened the capacity of communities to fight the disease. Those efforts and other practical measures had enabled significant reductions in new HIV infections in a substantial number of countries. Albania, still considered to be a “low HIV prevalence country”, was nonetheless using a national strategy to strengthen its national response at both the Governmental and civil society levels. Its messy legal framework had been strengthened and HIV education was included in the school curricula.
He said that, despite those advances, there was an upward trend in the reported cases of new HIV infections and estimates suggested there were a number of unreported cases as well. Several new cases were occurring in persons under 25 years of age and comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS among that age group remained low. In that context, he stressed that particular sectors of civil society played an important role in the fight against AIDS, including through the organization of a variety of programmes. Albania was conscious that much more needed to be done.