African Ministers Ask U.N. Security Council to Continue Focus on Continent’s Crises, Including HIV/AIDS
A group of African ministers on Tuesday asked the U.N. Security Council "not to forget the continent's conflicts," including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as it focuses on terrorism and rebuilding Afghanistan, the Associated Press reports. The ministers acknowledged that Africans must "take the lead" in promoting peace and fighting HIV/AIDS, but asked the council and the international community for monetary assistance. "With the war against terror being won and with Afghanistan on the road to reconstruction, we consider ... that the time has come to reactivate the spotlight on Africa," Anil Gayan, Maritius' foreign minister and the current council president, said, adding that the council will "not accept that the destiny of Africa is poverty and despair." U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said that the government "remains no less committed to Africa" than before mounting its campaign against terrorism, citing U.S. peacekeeping efforts in Ethiopia-Eritrea and Congo and the more than half a billion dollars earmarked this year to fight HIV/AIDS internationally. However, he said individual governments must demonstrate the "political courage and statesmanship necessary to end corruption, respect the rule of law and seek peaceful ends to the continent's wars" for rebuilding efforts to be successful. U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette echoed Negroponte's statements, saying that the Security Council, the Organization of African Unity and other regional groups should "strengthen cooperation" on politics, human rights, peace-building and HIV/AIDS. "But let us not delude ourselves. None of this will get very far unless there is real political will -- both on the part of African leaders, to pursue the quest for peace, and on the part of members of this council, to act decisively in their support for Africa," she added (Lederer, Associated Press, 1/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.