The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has on Wednesday, June 08 adopted a new and bold political declaration to end the scourge of HIV and AIDS as an endemic public health threat by 2030.
The declaration which includes a set of time-bound targets aimed at fast-tracking the pace of progress towards combating the health issue will see collaboration between the world body and the individual nations.
The declaration was taken at the opening ceremony of the UN HIV-AIDS summit held in New York spanning June 08 to 10, 2016.
The Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur who is at the summit addressed the gathering.
He will also be expected to co-chair a panel discussion with the former President of the Republic of Fuji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on the theme, “AIDS within the SDGs: leveraging the AIDS for social transformation and sustainable development.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the summit, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon was emphatic that “AIDS is far from over.”
According to him, “Over the next five years, we have a window of opportunity to radically change the trajectory of the epidemic and put an end to AIDS forever.”
In clear terms, the UN chief said despite remarkable progress made to combat the disease, “if we do not act, there is a danger the epidemic will rebound in low- and middle-income countries.”
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development affirms the global commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic within the next fifteen years.
Touching on it, the Secretary-General said an action now could avert an estimated 17.6 million new infections and 11 million premature deaths between 2016 and the targeted 2030.
“But we must make a radical change within the next five years, if we are to achieve that goal,” he said adding to achieve this will “require commitment at every level: from the global health infrastructure, to all Member States, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations, to the United Nations Security Council that has dealt with AIDS as a humanitarian issue and a threat to human and national security.”
The high-level meeting is expected to bring together heads of State and Government, ministers, people living with HIV, representatives from civil society and international organizations, the private sector, scientists and researchers to build on the commitments made in the political declaration on HIV and AIDS.
The meeting is also expected to put the world on the path to fulfilling the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which calls for an end to the HIV-AIDS epidemic by 2030.