Asia-Pacific nations to examine ways of fast-tracking regional commitment towards ending AIDS

Bangkok (ESCAP Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section) - Governments of countries across the Asia-Pacific region will meet in Bangkok from 6 to 8 February 2012 for high-level talks on how to speed up regional action to meet international commitments on AIDS, towards the global vision of getting to zero HIV-related infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.

In an unprecedented event, some 200 Ministers, including top government leaders and senior officials from across Ministries of health, justice, law enforcement, social development and drug control agencies will join civil society, including people living with HIV and most affected by HIV, to address legal and policy barriers that impede access to HIV services in the region.

The Asia-Pacific region has made significant progress on AIDS, with infection rates falling by 20% across the region in the last 10 years, and with over one million people accessing life-saving antiretroviral treatment. But the region continues to face important challenges to progress with epidemics in some countries still increasing and emerging, treatment access rates lagging behind global averages and low levels of services reaching populations most at risk of HIV infection.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend:

WHAT: The Opening Ceremony of the Asia-Pacific High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Assessment of Progress against Commitments in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals

WHEN: Monday, 6 February 2012, 09:30am to 10:30am

WHERE: United Nations Conference Centre, 2nd Floor, Conference Room 1

WHO: Speakers include:

- H.E. Mr. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, President of Fiji
- H.E. Mr. Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Thailand
- Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

Media Representatives are also invited to attend the opening of the Art for AIDS Exhibition, from 10:30am to 11.15am on the 1st Floor of the UNCC in the Exhibition area, next to Meeting Room H.

MEDIA ACCREDITATION

Media will need to register on arrival to access the UNCC. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the session opening.

CONTACTS:

Ms. Francyne Harrigan
Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1864, M: (66) 81 835 8677, E: harriganf@un.org

Nujpanit Narkpitaks, Social Development Division, United Nations ESCAP
T: +66 2 288 1171, M: (66) 81 279 12 21, E-mail: narkpitaks@un.org

NOTE TO EDITORS:

In Asia and the Pacific, over 6 million people are estimated to be living with HIV, accounting for nearly 15% of the total number worldwide. Eight countries (India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Myanmar and Malaysia, Russian Federation) account for over 90% of all estimated infected persons in the region. At present, over 95% of new infections occur among young people in key affected populations such as sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men and transgender persons.

The High –Level Meeting is being organized by ESCAP in cooperation with the regional offices of UNAIDS, UNDP, UNODC, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO.

For further information, go to: http://www.unescapsdd.org/hiv-and-aids/event/asia-pacific-high-level-intergovernmental-meeting-assessment-progress-against-0

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