U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Praises AIDS Rally as ‘Fine Example’ of Activism
In a release commenting on the June 3 Action AIDS rally in Washington, D.C., U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the demonstration a "fine example of the kind of response we need across the world in facing up to HIV/AIDS." Annan noted that three million people worldwide died of AIDS-related complications last year -- a number equivalent to the population of "five cities the size of Washington, D.C." He said, "To defeat this epidemic that haunts humanity, and to give hope to the millions infected with the virus, we need a response that matches the challenge. ... And that is why the commitment of all of you here today is so important." Annan said that when delegates convene for this month's upcoming special session of the U.N. General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, "it is essential that they hear people speak up about the virus and demand decisive action against it." Annan concluded, "[O]n behalf of the United Nations, I thank you for taking part today. You have understood that AIDS is our problem, and nothing less than a test of our common humanity" (Annan release, 6/3). The rally, sponsored by the National Minority AIDS Council, Project Inform, AIDS Research Alliance, various chapters of ACT UP and other groups, included a march to the White House, Congress and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, and was officially titled, "Remember the Dead -- Renew the Struggle" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.