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World AIDS Day 2006
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Thursday, 30 November 2006
On 1 December World AIDS Day 2006 is commemorated worldwide with a wide range of events taking place.

In 1988, the General Assembly expressed deep concern at the pandemic proportions of AIDS. Noting that the World Health Organization had declared 1 December 1988 World AIDS Day, the Assembly stressed the importance of observing that occasion (Resolution 43/15). Since then, World AIDS Day has aimed to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. Out of an estimated 39.5 million people living with HIV worldwide at the end 2006, 4.3 million were newly infected last year alone, according to AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2006, released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in advance of World AIDS Day.

The focus of World AIDS Day 2006 is accountability and the slogan is “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise,” based on the commitments made through the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.

“Accountability—the theme of this World AIDS Day—requires every President and Prime Minister, every parliamentarian and politician, to decide and declare that ‘AIDS stops with me.’ It requires them to strengthen protection for all vulnerable groups—whether people living with HIV, young people, sex workers, injecting drug users, or men who have sex with men. It requires them to work hand in hand with civil society groups, who are so crucial to the struggle. It requires them to work for real, positive change that will give more power and confidence to women and girls, and transform relations between women and men at all levels of society,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his message on World AIDS Day 2006.

“The theme of this World AIDS Day is accountability. If we are to reach the targets that countries have set for themselves then, now more than ever, we need to make the money work. Collectively and with civil society we need to strengthen national ownership, improve processes of coordination and harmonization, continue to reform the multilateral response, and define clear means of accountability and oversight for these changes,” UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said in his message commemorating the Day.

Spearheading activities and events around World AIDS Day is the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) , based in Amsterdam and which took over the Campaign from UNAIDS. WAC operates under a governance system led by civil society to shift policy, mobilize resources, and call for action on the ground. For a list of events taking place around World AIDS Day 2006 click here.

Also to commemorate World AIDS Day 2006, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched its report HIV/AIDS and Work: Global Estimates, Impact on Children and Youth, and Response 2006, which presents updated estimates of the impact of the HIV epidemic on the world of work, the labour force and the working-age population in 60 countries in all regions.

A new UNAIDS Best Practice Collection report Global Reach: How Trade Unions are Responding to AIDSwill also be available. The report brings to public attention the “innovative programmes and successful initiatives” of the labour movement in responding to HIV/AIDS. The report is a joint publication by the ILO, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (now the International Trade Union Confederation), Global Union AIDS Programme and UNAIDS.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) is hosting online discussion forums, Positive Change, for young men and women to share their involvement and innovative action towards the fight against HIV/AIDS and urban poverty. A number of different discussions are underway, ranging from nutrition and AIDS, to youth impact on AIDS, to speaking out on HIV/AIDS.

More information is available online.

Members of the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, a youth-led, UNAIDS and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supported alliance of 2,500 young leaders and adult allies in 100 countries worldwide, are also preparing for World AIDS Day, with numerous events taking place in 27 countries, ranging from concerts, fundraisers, community awareness-raising gatherings, lecture series, to film screenings. More information is available online.

For more AIDS related resources, visit the Dag Hammarskjöld Library page on AIDS.

See also the AVERT website. AVERT is an international HIV and AIDS charity based in the UK, with the aim of AVERTing HIV and AIDS worldwide.
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