First Global Parliamentary Meeting on AIDS
28 November 2007
The First Global Parliamentary Meeting on AIDS was opened on Wednesday 28 November in Manila by Mr Manny Villar, President of the Senate of the Philippines.
Around 200 participants from around the world are attending the three-day meeting which has been organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in cooperation with the Senate of the Philippines and in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
It is the first time that Parliaments from all over the world have been convened to jointly discuss the part they have to play in responding to the AIDS epidemic. The main aim of the event is to enhance the commitment and collaboration of Parliaments worldwide as crucial stakeholders in the AIDS response.
During his opening address, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Michel Sidibe highlighted the important role parliamentarians have to play in the global response to the epidemic, “As Parliamentarians you are opinion-leaders and decision-makers. What you say matters. You can encourage informed debate. You can address prejudice and misconceptions. You can lead by example,” he said.
The meeting is being held ahead of World AIDS Day (1 December) under the main theme of ‘Leadership’. In addition, five sub-themes will be discussed in plenary sessions or panel discussions; stigma and discrimination; affordability of drugs; vulnerable groups; legalization and criminalization issues; and budgeting.
A range of keynote speakers have been invited to contribute to the sessions including Dr Nafis Sadik, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on AIDS for Asia and the Pacific, Mr Marcel van Soest, Executive Director of the World AIDS Campaign and Justice Michael Kirby, from the High Court of Australia.
One of the highlights of the meeting will be the launch of a handbook for Parliamentarians entitled, ‘Taking action against HIV’. The handbook will serve as both a call to action for parliamentary leadership and a reference book that parliamentarians and their staff may consult for information and guidance on specific issues in relation to the AIDS response.
Download final conclusions
Read press release
Read UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director's statement
Download Taking action against HIV - A handbook for parliamentarians
Read also - Brazil shares best AIDS practice with parliamentarians (29 June 2007)