The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) calling for strategic partnership to advance sustainable responses to HIV and address key human rights challenges in Africa. The MoU was signed on Saturday July 14, 2012 between the President of the Pan-African Parliament, Hon. Bethel N. Amadi, and the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, on the sidelines of the 19th Summit of Heads of State of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Through this partnership, UNAIDS will work with legislators from across Africa, empowering them with up-to-date knowledge and information on the HIV epidemic. Legislators, in turn, will become high-level advocates for the HIV response; they will ensure national and regional accountability, implement non-discrimination laws and encourage governments to commit the necessary resources. The two agencies will pay special attention to measures aimed at preventing new HIV infections among children.
“The AIDS response requires shared responsibility and mutual accountability,” said the UNAIDS Executive Director, at a press conference after the signing of the MoU. “Legislators are people’s representatives and they have a duty to remove obstacles that hamper universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. By partnering with legislators, we can close inequity gaps and get to zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.”