The meeting marks only the second time that the 15-member body has discussed HIV and AIDS in the Council. In January 2000, the Council adopted resolution 1308 in which it recognized the potential of the epidemic, if unchecked, to pose a risk to stability and security. It also focused on the potential of HIV/AIDS to affect the health of UN peacekeeping personnel.
Meeting on the eve of the three-day high-level event on AIDS 10-12 June, the Council recognized that HIV poses “one of the most formidable challenges” to the development, progress and stability of societies and requires an “exceptional and comprehensive” global response.
In a resolution adopted unanimously on the impact of HIV/AIDS on international peace and security, the Council recognized that UN peacekeeping operations can be important contributors to an integrated response to HIV and AIDS.
“Whenever AIDS is part of the equation, the United Nations is working to be part of the solution,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks to the meeting, which was convened by President Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month.
Mr. Ban noted that before resolution 1308 was adopted, uniformed personnel were viewed in terms of the risk they might pose to civilians. “Now we understand that UN troops and police are part of prevention, treatment and care.”
The Secretary-General also urged all Member States to link efforts to combat HIV and AIDS with the campaigns against sexual violence and for the rights of women. This means addressing the dangerous interaction between AIDS, the international drug trade, sex trafficking and the abuse of women.“We also need action after the ink dries on agreements and the guns fall silent. We need to help shattered societies prevent the spread of HIV. And we must provide treatment to everyone who needs it,” said Mr. Ban.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485