Poverty, urbanization, AIDS and other threats to human security will feature high on the agenda as representatives from throughout the Asia-Pacific region gather at the United Nations centre in Bangkok this week, the UN announced today.
The annual session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which will run from 19 to 23 April, is expected to draw the participation of ministers and senior officials from 61 countries.
As part of the proceedings, Thailand's former Prime Minister, Anand Panyarachun, and former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda will join UN officials and persons living with AIDS to speak out on the epidemic. Their high-level call to action will come on 23 April as ESCAP's member States discuss regional preparations for the General Assembly's June special session on HIV/AIDS.
ESCAP's discussions are just part of the growing momentum for the special session which is building around the world. Just days after the Bangkok meeting, African leaders will gather in Abuja, Nigeria, for a continent-wide forum focusing on AIDS and infectious diseases.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to deliver a major address to the African Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases. African heads of State, heads of UN agencies and private sector executives are expected to attend the Summit, which is being convened on 26 and 27 April by the Nigerian Government and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).