HIV/AIDS to be focus of Ban’s upcoming Mexico visit

23 July 2008

The fight against AIDS will be one of the top priorities on the agenda of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when he makes his first official visit to Mexico next month.

Together with Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Mr. Ban will open the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, marking the first time the gathering is being held in Latin America.

The Secretary-General – who will reaffirm that the AIDS epidemic is not over and that a long-term vision to respond to it is needed – is expected to meet with world leaders, people living with HIV and community groups during the Conference, as well as on its sidelines.

During his three-day visit to Mexico that kicks off on 3 August, he will hold talks with Mr. Calderón and with Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa Cantellano.

Mr. Ban also plans to address a joint session of the Mexican Senate and Chamber of Deputies, as well as confer on climate change with authorities and meet with business leaders through the UN Global Compact’s Mexico network.

In a related development, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will launch a pack of resources at the Mexico City conference that provides guidance on developing policies, allocating resources and putting education and HIV programmes in place.

The new resource bundle includes dozens of technical briefs citing country examples and covering issues such as “Focused HIV prevention for key populations.”

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