2013 Dec 01
December 1, 2013

ASEAN marks World AIDS Day 2013

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Sunday marked the World AIDS Day with the theme “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.”

“An ASEAN Community in a stable political and secure environment amidst a robust economy and progressive socio-cultural development can only be sustainable if the current and future generations are assured of a healthy and disease-free community,” Le Luong Minh, ASEAN secretary-general, said in a message, according to an ASEAN press release obtained here.

“Such a community includes an AIDS-free generation. More specifically, a community that is free from the impacts brought about by HIV and AIDS.”

In commemorating the World AIDS Day this year, the ASEAN Community also marks the second year of moving towards the targets of the ASEAN Declaration of Commitment: Getting to Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths. The declaration, adopted by ASEAN leaders at the 19th ASEAN Summit in November 2011, had specific targets outlined for 2015.

The implementation of this declaration commenced through the ASEAN Cities Getting to Zero Initiative in 13 cities and areas within the region. Progress has already been made in the localization of this declaration in these places, Le said in the message.

ASEAN needs strong political will, adequate financial resources and effective evidence-based approaches and support from partners in order to achieve these three zeros, the secretary-general said, urging all concerned to continue to work on the declaration in getting to zeros and build on political commitments, investments, energy, activism and determinations.

Copyright 2013 Xinhua News Agency.