A Watershed in the Fight
HIV/AIDS epidemic has become a global crisis that demands global action. In many
countries, it is triggering national emergencies, wiping out human lives and
decades of hard-won social and economic gains.
determined efforts to hold the epidemic in check, it shows no signs of abating.
Its scale and impact far exceed even the worst-case predictions made a decade
past 20 years, more than 56 million people have been infected with HIV—almost
equal to the population of the United Kingdom. Some 22 million have died of
AIDS-related illnesses, 4.3 million of them children.
an extraordinary worldwide response can reverse its spread.
It can be done. The past two decades have provided the world with a wealth of experience. We know what works in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
move this fight forward, the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000
decided to convene a Special Session on HIV/AIDS.
meeting will be held in New York on 25-27 June 2001—almost 20 years to the day
after the first clinical evidence of AIDS was reported.
Special Session on HIV/AIDS is a watershed event. Its role is to galvanize
leadership at the highest levels, intensify and accelerate international action,
and mobilize the required resources.
national delegations will review action plans that have proven most effective.
They will consider new steps and new partnerships. Interactive round-table
discussions will bring together government leaders, AIDS activists,
nongovernmental organizations and private sector partners.
The aims of the Special Session are necessarily ambitious. The Session must lay the solid foundation for a global consensus on the essential elements of a successful response.
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