|23 April 2001
||N/06/01, BS/03/01 Rev. 1
For use by media - not an official record
ASIAN/AFRICAN ELDER STATESMEN
LEAD PLEA FOR ACTION TO AVERT MAJOR HEALTH THREAT IN REGION
Monday, 23 April, 3:00-5:00
Mr. Anand Panyarachun (Thailand),
Mr. Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), UN, private sector, HIV/AIDS sufferers
to hold press conference
In an unprecedented event, two former Heads of
Government from Asia and Africa, UN officials, business and the private
sector, and people with HIV/AIDS will make a joint plea for action to avert
a major development threat in the region on 23 April 2001, 3:00–5:00 p.m.,
at the UN Conference Centre, Bangkok.
Participants will hold a press conference following
the event at 5:30 p.m.
Taking part in the programme are Mr. Anand Panyarachun,
former Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, former President
of Zambia, Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary, ESCAP, Ms. Kathleen Cravero,
Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS, Mr. William D. Black, General Manager,
The Fullerton Singapore and Chairman, Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS,
and Ms. Geena Gonzales, Health Educator in the Philippines, who is HIV
Mr. Anand was the first Asian Head of Government
to launch a comprehensive nation-wide HIV/AIDS prevention programme some
ten year ago. He is acknowledged for making tough and bold decisions to
combat the epidemic when it was in the early stages in Asia.
The death of his son Masuzgo from AIDS in 1986
was the main inspiration for Mr. Kaunda’s campaign against HIV/AIDS. He
is now at the forefront of the battle in Africa and heads a foundation
fighting the epidemic and helping orphans lead better lives.
The Special Session on HIV/AIDS is part of ESCAP’s
annual Commission Session taking place in Bangkok from 19-26 April, ahead
of a major UN conference on the subject in June this year.
NOTE TO EDITORS
You or your representatives are invited to attend
the special session on HIV/AIDS from 3:00-5:00 pm, and the press conference
following at 5:30 p.m., on Monday, 23 April, UN Conference Centre, Bangkok.
A programme of activities including short bios
on each of the participants is attached for reference.
For further information please contact:
Mr. David Lazarus, Chief, United Nations Information
Tel: (66-2) 288-1234; Fax: (66-2) 288-1052; E-mail:
Ms. Pensri Tasnavites, UNAIDS Media Consultant,
Tel: (66-2) 257-0300; Fax: (66-2) 257-0312; E-mail:
|Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
19-25 April 2001-04-16 Bangkok
Agenda item 5(c)
Regional Preparations for the United Nations General Assembly
Special Session on HIV/AIDS, 25-27 June 2001
Briefing on Programme
Monday, 23 April 2001-04-16 1500-1700 hours
Part One (1500-1530 hrs)
1. Introductory statement by Mr Kim Hak-Su,
Executive Secretary, ESCAP
Dr Kim Hak-Su, the new Executive Director of ESCAP, was appointed to
the post on 1 July 2000. Dr Kim, a prominent economist, served as
the Ambassador for International Economic Affairs of the Republic of Korea,
before joining ESCAP. He has extensive experience in central banking,
development planning, private sector management as well as international
organizations. He has also served as the President of the Hanil Banking
Institute and Secretary-General of the Colombo Plan Secretariat.
The inclusion of an agenda item on HIV/AIDS during the 57th session
of the Commission underscores ESCAP’s commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS,
and in the regional preparations called for before the United Nations General
Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (New York 25 to 27 June, 2001).
2. Keynote address by HE Mr Kenneth Kaunda,
former President of Zambia
Zambia’s former president Mr Kenneth Kaunda, retired from politics last
year to become a strong advocate in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Kaunda,
who led Zambia to independence from the British in 1964, ruled the country
for 27 years until 1991. Now at the forefront of the battle against
HIV/AIDS, he heads the Johannesburg-based Kenneth Kaunda Children for Africa
Foundation, which campaigns the fight against HIV/AIDS and seeks to help
orphans lead better lives. Kenneth Kaunda’s son Masuzgo died of AIDS
in 1986, leaving behind five children under the care of Kaunda. His
death is a main inspiration for Kaunda’s campaign.
Some 70% of the nearly 34 million people infected with HIV and 18 million
that have been killed by AIDS worldwide are from sub-Saharan Africa.
Between 25 and 30% of Zambia’ adult population is infected with HIV or
have full-blown AIDS. The prevalence rate in rural areas is 10-15%
in a country of 10 million. The number of AIDS orphans n Zambia are
currently estimated at 895,000, and are steeply on the rise.
3. Keynote address by HE Mr Anand Panyarachun,
former Prime Minister of Thailand
Thailand’s former Prime Minister, Mr Anand Panyarachun, was the first
Asian Head of Government to launch a comprehensive nation-wide HIV/AIDS
prevention programme some ten years ago in 1991. He made tough and
bold decisions, when HIV/AIDS was in its early stages in Asia, to combat
the epidemic. He publicly acknowledged that the epidemic in Thailand
was being driven by practices in the country that no one wanted to admit,
namely the use of commercial sex workers by Thai men, injecting drug use
and gender inequity, including the sale of children into sex work.
His government’s efforts resulted in behavioural changes that reduced significantly
the number of new HIV infections in the country. The percentage of
Thai men visiting sex workers has fallen annually and condom use
has increased drastically. Thailand’s programme under Mr Anand’s
administration is being showcased by UNAIDS as one of three “best practices”
in the world (the other two being in Africa – Uganda and Senegal).
4. Clippings from “Staying Alive 2”
A 15-minute combination of clips will be shown from the “Staying Alive”
series—two documentaries on HIV/AIDS jointly produced by MTV International
(the world’s largest TV network), UNAIDS and the World Bank. The
viewing will include segments on access to drugs (Africa), drug use (East
Europe), discrimination (Caribbean) and sexworkers and condom use (Calcutta).
Part Two (1540 to 1700
5. Statement by William (Bill) D. Black, General
Manager, The Fullerton Singapore and Chairman, Thailand Business Coalition
A Canadian national with over 30 years experience in the hotel industry,
Mr Black has served as Resident Manager of Regent Hong Kong, General Manager
of the Regent Bangkok and General Manager of Regent Singapore. He
is presently serving as the General Manager of the Fullerton Singapore.
In 1993, he co-founded the Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS, a private
sector’s response to the HIV/IDS epidemic. Mr Black was a recipient
of the first Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS Award for Excellence in
1998 along with four other organizations. Mr Black is an active member
of the American Chamber of Commerce, having served as the Board of Governor
for 8 years and as Co-chairman of the Community Projects Committee for
over 10 years. Mr Black recently completed one year of full time
with the Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS, and in collaboration with
the Ford Foundation and UNAIDS, has developed national business response
organizations in several Asian and African countries, including the Asian
Business Coalition on AIDS.
6. Statement by Ms Geena Gonzales, Health Educator
in the Philippines
Ms Gonzales is a health worker targeting young people in the sex industry
and out-of-school youth. She represents people living with HIV in
the Philippines, is herself living with HIV and is an active member of
Pinoy Plus. She will be speaking about how young people can be effective
partners in HIV/AIDS prevention. Over 50 per cent of new HIV infections
occur in young people below 25 years of age.
7. Statement by Dr Kathleen Cravero, Deputy
Executive Director, UNAIDS
Dr Kathleen Cravero took up her assignment as Deputy Executive Director
of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on 1 March 2000.
She is seconded from UNICEF to UNAIDS for an initial period of two years.
As Deputy Executive Director, she assists Dr Peter Piot, Executive Director,
in overall management of the UNAIDS Secretariat as well as assumes direct
responsibility for the External Relations and Programme Support Departments.
Among her responsibilities are cosponsor relations, UNAIDS governance structures,
resource mobilization and liaison with NGOs and the private sector.