World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Urges ‘Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility’ Against Pandemics, Marking World AIDS Day

UNICEF/Karin Schermbrucker A HIV-positive woman and her baby take their medication on a daily basis at their home in Mbarara, western Uganda.

The United Nations is commemorating World AIDS Day, on Tuesday, with a call for “global solidarity and shared responsibility” to overcome not only COVID-19, but also AIDS – another global pandemic that is still with us nearly 40 years after it emerged.

In a message, Secretary-General António Guterres urged the world to not lose sight of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Despite significant successes, the AIDS emergency is not over. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) still infects 1.7 million people each year and kills some 690,000,” he said.

Mr. Guterres highlighted the impact of inequalities, leaving the vulnerable most affected, a fact evidenced by the coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the world. Inequalities in health affect all of us. No one is safe unless we all are safe,” he added, stressing:

“Wealth should not determine whether people get the health care they need. We need a COVID-19 vaccine and HIV treatments and care that are affordable and available to everyone, everywhere.”

‘Health is a human right’

The UN chief reiterated that health must be a top investment priority to achieve universal health coverage. He called for an end stigma and discrimination, putting people at the centre and grounding AIDS and COVID-19 responses in human rights and gender-responsive approaches.

“On this World AIDS Day let us recognize that, to overcome COVID-19 and end AIDS, the world must stand in solidarity and share responsibility,” said Mr. Guterres.

‘Strength within communities’

In a separate message, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), highlighted that people within communities working together “inspired by a shared responsibility to each other” helped achieve several victories against HIV.

That strength is needed “more than ever” in the fight against HIV and COVID-19, she added.

“In responding to COVID-19, the world cannot make the same mistakes it made in the fight against HIV, when millions in developing countries died waiting for treatment,” stressed Ms. Byanyima

Equitable access to vaccines against COVID-19 must be ensured, she continued, calling on companies to “openly share their technology and know-how” and to waive their intellectual property rights for vaccines to be produced at the scale and speed needed “to protect everyone” and get the global economy back on track.

Commemorated every year on 1 December, World AIDS Day brings together people from around the world to raise awareness, remember those who have passed on, and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

Unsplash/ElevenPhotographs The US Capitol building in Washington D.C. A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>