Nigeria Supports Global Fight Against Fight Against HIV/AIDS - GEJ
SAN FRANCISCO, June 07, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Tuesday restated Nigeria's "unequivocal support" for the global fight against the scourge of HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Contributing to the open debate on the impact of the deadly disease on international peace and security by members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York, the President stressed that the "time is ripe for a final solution" to the 30-year-old pandemic.
"The human, social and economic costs of inaction are too great to contemplate," he noted, adding that it is incumbent upon the Security Council to set clear and decisive goals in the campaign against HIV/AIDS.
President Jonathan said that "as the largest contributor to peacekeeping in Africa and the fourth largest in the world, Nigeria has a major stake, not only in ensuring that our armed forces are protected against HIV/AIDS but also given adequate treatment."
The President while also expressing Nigeria's concern over the consequences of gender-based violence related to HIV/AIDS, especially in conflict situations, pledged the country's commitment to join the international community in ensuring that women and girls in conflict situations are adequately protected.
President Jonathan who noted the "inextricable linkage between international peace, security and development," commended the UN for sustaining the fight against HIV/AIDS by organising the debate, stressing that tackling the disease was pivotal to development and security in Africa in particular and the world in general.
Various contributors commended the attendance of President Jonathan who was the first foreign leader to be invited to contribute to the debate.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said the global body was passionate about combating HIV/AIDS and sexual violence against women.
Nigeria, Gabon and South Africa are the three African non-permanent representatives in the Security Council participating in this special debate before Wednesday's enlarged High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS at the General Assembly with 14 foreign leaders expected to attend.
President Jonathan who arrived New York Monday night with First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, would hold bilateral talks with United States President Barack Obama at the White House, Washington D.C on Wednesday after participating in the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS.
He was also billed to hold bilateral meetings Tuesday after attending a luncheon hosted by President Ali Bongo Odimba of Gabon whose country occupies the current presidency of the UN Security Council.