Swiss delegation at a high-level UN meeting on HIV/AIDS

Bern, Press release, 07.06.2011

On 8 to 10 June 2011, Switzerland will send an interdepartmental delegation to take part in a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS in New York. The delegation, which will be headed by the Director-General of the SDC, Martin Dahinden, will present the argument for a greater effort to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and the marginalisation and stigmatisation of those living with the disease.

Despite the fact that much progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the recent years, it remains one of the priority challenges on Switzerland’s agenda. In New York, the Swiss delegation will present Switzerland’s national and international efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, while emphasising the respect for human rights, in particular the fight against the discrimination and stigmatisation of those individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. In the field of development cooperation Switzerland accords priority to prevention, access for young people to relevant information, treatment and care, and fighting discrimination. Switzerland supports the further integration of efforts to fight HIV/AIDS within broadly defined public health measures. For this reason, Switzerland will also sponsor a pertinent event of partner organisations on the sidelines of the UN meeting.

Switzerland will also inform the other States attending the meeting about its positive experiences in reducing infections among drug addicts, and urge them to engage in cooperation with organisations of those people directly affected by HIV/AIDS. The Swiss delegation will underline the paramount significance of gender aspects in the fight against HIV/AIDS, including the need to further raise awareness among men and boys and to strengthen their role in safeguarding their own health. At the same time, Switzerland will stress that men and women must be given the possibility of deciding for themselves the future of their sexual and reproductive health. 

The UN Secretary-General will present a report to the assembly on the status of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Switzerland endorses the conclusions and the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General and will advocate for an internationally coordinated and rapid implementation. Among other things, the report calls for a 50% reduction in the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS; the prevention of new infections resulting from the consumption of hard drugs; the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS; a 50% reduction in the rate of tuberculosis-caused deaths of HIV/AIDS-infected persons; the guarantee of treatment for 13 million people living with HIV/AIDS; a reduction in the number of countries with HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay or residence; and the assurance of full access to education for children who have been orphaned or are in need of help as a result of AIDS.  

Further information:

HIV/AIDS – Giving priority to prevention
The advantages of prevention

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs