Leadership Summit at XV International AIDS Conference Cancelled Due to Lack of Attendees
Thailand's government has cancelled a meeting on HIV/AIDS for national leaders that was planned for July 12 on the sidelines of the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, because all but one of the invited leaders declined to attend, Reuters reports (Reuters, 7/5). The leadership summit, titled "Leadership on HIV/AIDS," was slated as an event for leaders of HIV/AIDS-affected countries and donor nations to meet and develop strategies for combating HIV/AIDS (Bangkok Post, 7/5). The leaders of 13 countries and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan were expected to attend the summit, which was scheduled to be hosted by Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/27). Charal Trinvuthiphong, director general of Thailand's Disease Control Department, said that a lunch program for leaders and people with HIV/AIDS also was cancelled. Invitations to the summit were sent to the leaders of Botswana, Brazil, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Canada, China, India, Russia and the European Commission, as well as Annan (Bangkok Post, 7/5). Thailand Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sihasak Phuangketkeow said that instead of holding the summit, Annan and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni plan to meet with people living with HIV/AIDS on the opening day of the conference, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Sihasak said that leaders of the other nations were "not comfortable with traveling here at this time" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 7/5). Charal said that some of the issues leaders had planned to discuss at the summit will now be addressed at the Second Asia-Pacific Ministerial Meeting on HIV/AIDS scheduled for July 10-11 in Bangkok (Bangkok Post, 7/5). The ministerial meeting will focus on mobilizing resources, implementing laws and increasing community participation in the fight against AIDS, as well as increasing access to antiretroviral drugs, Thailand's Nation reports (Rungrawee/Duangkamol, Nation, 7/6). The first-ever Leadership Program, which will focus on leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS and is meant to complement the Scientific and Community Programs of the International AIDS Conference, will continue as planned (XV IAC release, 5/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.