Statements and Webcast
H.E. Dr. Vanda Pignato, Minister of Social Inclusion
9 June 2011
- Statement: Spanish (Check against delivery)
VANDA PIGNATO, Secretary of Social Inclusion of El Salvador, said that after many years of petitioning for legal recognition, different civil society organizations — particularly those representing specific at-risk groups — had finally attained recognition from her country’s current Government. Likewise, a decree had been issued against discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation. Moreover, a Government office for raising the profile of sexual diversity now existed. Noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had, in 2005, made a call for the definitive elimination of the transmission of HIV and syphilis in low- and middle-income countries, she said El Salvador had been a pioneer in implementing that strategy. Indeed, it had seen a reduction of 88 per cent of the number of children born with HIV, and a wider provision of antiretroviral therapy. The Government had also changed its outreach approach, focusing on, among other things, sexual education. It was also working to build a national response to HIV, including through the multisectoral participation of those living with HIV, as well as members of civil society.
She went on to note that the Ministers for Health of Latin America and the Caribbean had agreed on regional responses to the epidemic, including zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Pointing to the Global Fund’s recognition of the transparency of projects undertaken in El Salvador, she nevertheless acknowledged that the country’s advances could be undermined if international support diminished. To that end, she called for the international community to direct efforts on HIV/AIDS through a human rights-based focus. Finally, she underscored the need to be completely inclusive to those who were marginalized, particularly those with disabilities.