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Annan to focus on global AIDS fund in address at G-8 summit

Annan to focus on global AIDS fund in address at G-8 summit

The creation of a global fund to fight AIDS and other infectious diseases will be the key subject of an address by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to tomorrow's "Group of Eight" summit in Genoa, Italy, his spokesman said today.

Mr. Annan, who is now in Rome, will deliver an address to the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation, as part of a ceremony for the Global AIDS and Health Fund, according to spokesman Fred Eckhard.

Mr. Annan will also participate in an outreach session, where the G-8 leaders will meet with a number of heads of State or government from developing countries to discuss how to achieve the poverty-reduction goal set by last year's UN Millennium Summit. A number of heads of international organizations will also participate in that working session.

The outreach discussion on poverty will continue during a working dinner, hosted by Italian President Carlo Ciampi, which Mr. Annan will attend.

Among other officials scheduled to take part in the summit, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Jacques Diouf, will urge support for a recently established Trust Fund for Food Security. Previewing his call at a press conference in Rome today, Mr. Diouf said the G-8 countries should donate $500 million to the Fund. This figure "is not a large amount," he said, considering that donor countries spend billions of dollars each year to support their farmers.