On a trip to US capital, Annan will urge business leaders to join anti-AIDS fight

On a trip to US capital, Annan will urge business leaders to join anti-AIDS fight

Secretary-General Kofi Annan travelled to Washington, D.C. today to bring his rallying cry against AIDS to key leaders of the United States business community.

On Friday, the Secretary-General will attend a breakfast meeting of the US Chamber of Commerce. According to his spokesman, Mr. Annan will urge attending business leaders to get involved in the fight against AIDS, pointing out that the epidemic causes costs to rise and markets to shrink. He will argue that by joining the fight against AIDS, businesses will see economic benefits.

At the outset of his trip to the US capital, the Secretary-General will deliver the keynote speech at the Global Health Council's Annual Awards Banquet this evening. A spokesman for Mr. Annan said the Secretary-General would call attention to the impact of AIDS on women, noting that HIV infection rates among women in Africa have surpassed those of men.

Among those expected to attend the event will be Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Graça Machel, the former Education Minister of Mozambique and a leading advocate of children's rights.