Africa: AIDS Consensus and Plan, 12/10/00

Africa: AIDS Consensus and Plan, 12/10/00

Africa: AIDS Consensus and Plan Date distributed (ymd): 001210 Document reposted by APIC

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +economy/development+ Summary Contents: This posting consists of the final consensus statement for action on HIV/AIDS from the African Development Forum 2000 in Addis Ababa (Dec. 3-7, 2000). Additional documents from the Forum can be found on the Economic Commission for Africa website at: Additional background and links can be found at:

+++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

APIC Note to Readers: Update on List Security and Virus

We are glad to let you know that we have received no report from any of you of damage from the virus that was transmitted through our list address on Dec. 4-5. Most readers whose anti-virus software did not detect it identified it themselves as suspicious and deleted it. We traced the message to an internet service provider in Michigan, and notified their system operators, but we do not know if they were able to trace the original author of the message.

Our new list address, which appears in the 'to:' field of this message, has now been programmed by our system consultants to reject any message which does not originate from an authorized APIC computer. While in these days no one can guarantee 100% protection against malicious computer attacks, we anticipate that this will provide a much higher level of protection.



A. The Consensus


Now is the decisive moment in Africa's struggle to overcome the continent-wide threat of HIV/AIDS. Success in overcoming the HIV/AIDS pandemic demands a comparable moral, political and social commitment to fighting a war of national liberation. Leadership actions are demanded at all levels, to halt the preventable spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and to provide a decent life for citizens of Africa living with HIV/AIDS. Each and every one of the leadership acts necessary to prevent HIV/AIDS and to help those burdened by HIV/AIDS, without exception, are things we want anyway for a better, more developed Africa, and must be implemented in full and without delay. The Africa Development Forum 2000 is a breakthrough. It represents a watershed in national leaders' readiness to address intimate personal beliefs and behaviour in a public and political manner. It marks an unprecedented collective commitment to the struggle against HIV/AIDS.

1. Personal leadership.

Every individual must personally break the silence around the norms and values that fuel the HIV/AIDS pandemic. As a citizen, leader, wife, husband, parent, child, youth, adult, worker, employer, there are critical issues of information, attitudes and behaviour that must be learned and faced.

1.2. Parents have a special responsibility to educate their children about the realities of HIV/AIDS.

1.3. Each person must regard themselves as affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and must acknowledge the possibility that they themselves or a loved one may become infected.

1.4. Every person should confront the reality of denial, stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, and should embrace people living with HIV/AIDS as fellow members of their families, communities and nations.

1.5. People living with HIV/AIDS are human beings in full possession of their human rights. They must be valued as a resource in and of themselves, and as crucial allies in the common struggle to overcome HIV/AIDS.

1.6. Each person must take responsibility for protecting themselves, and for preventing the virus being transmitted to others,

1.7. Every individual should seek to break the silence about HIV/AIDS, and be ready to speak about sexual relations and confront the unequal power relations within sexual relationships.,

1.8. Youth themselves have a unique responsibility to respond to the challenge of HIV/AIDS. They have created a real social movement around HIV/AIDS which must be supported.

2. Community Leadership

2.1. The struggle against HIV/AIDS will be won community by community, in every village, township, and settlement across Africa. Authority and resources to overcome the pandemic must be devolved to the local level.

2.2. At the community level, there should be a common struggle to overcome HIV/AIDS, with actions and strategies that combine all members and component parts of the community, resulting in a true local partnership.

2.3. Women and girls must be strengthened and empowered in their homes, workplaces, schools and communities, and provided with the cultural, legal and material means of protection from sexual abuse. Men's responsibilities towards women must be emphasized. Perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence must be prosecuted in the courts. Child- and woman-friendly family courts must be created at scale and supported.

2.4. The availability of condoms must be ensured, and people must be taught about their importance and use.

2.5. Youth must be engaged as full partners in the community, as a special and invaluable resource, that has been neglected until now. The youth representatives from throughout Africa played an important part in the Forum and their position is appended for serious consideration with a view to incorporation in national plans of action.

2.6. The many different stakeholders in communities each have particular roles and responsibilities, including, - traditional healers - teachers - employers - spiritual leaders.

2.7 Those caring for people living with AIDS need special assistance in recognition of the special burdens and responsibilities upon them.

2.8 In sum, there is a need for total societal mobilization at a community level, creating a robust' social immunity' from the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

3. National Leadership

3.1 National leaders' prime responsibility is to create the conditions for community mobilization, across the nation.

3.2 Many cases of impressive national efforts exist: the challenge is to scale these up to cover every community.

3.3 National leaders' personal initiative can transform the moral and social climate in which HIV/AIDS can be discussed and addressed openly, and denial and stigma can be overcome.

3.4 National AIDS authorities and councils should be strengthened as a matter of urgency in order to assure a broad, multi-sectoral response at the national and community levels. Best cases in Africa demonstrate that highest level political leadership of such councils is a requirement.

3.5 Such multi-sectoral leadership requires:

- Every sector must achieve competence on how HIV/AIDS affects its activities and how it can contribute to a multi-sectoral plan to overcome the pandemic.

- The health sector, provided with suitable resources, must play a leading role in prevention and treatment.

- The education sector is central to effective responses to HIV/AIDS. Sex education must be in every curriculum. Schools must be models for equitable gender relations.

- The social welfare sector must provide assistance to those caring for people with AIDS, and for their dependents including orphans.

- The trade, industry and mining sectors must shoulder their responsibilities for minimizing transmission of HIV and for non-discriminatory employment practices.

- The military must confront the reality of high levels of HIV prevalence among soldiers, and take necessary steps to reduce transmission. Armies must provide for soldiers who are HIV positive. As disciplined national institutions, armies can take a leading role in HIV/AIDS control programs.

- The media have a crucial role in public education and shaping attitudes.

3.6 People living with HIV/AIDS should be incorporated into national policymaking and implementation in a meaningful manner.

3.7 Civil society organizations have taken the lead in many aspects of HIV/AIDS control. Their roles must be appreciated and supported. The common position of African civil society organizations represented at the Forum is important and is therefore appended to this African Consensus as a serious statement for consideration and action at national and community levels.

3.8 Religious leaders have immense influence over matters of personal morality and behaviour. Religious values such as care for the stricken, tolerance and inclusion can assist in the campaign against HIV/AIDS

3.9 The status of women at a national level needs special emphasis. National leaders can initiate special programs and set up special institutions to promote the rights of women.

4. Regional Leadership

4.1 Africa's HIV/AIDS pandemic knows no boundaries. It demands action at a continental level and leadership from Africa's regional and subregional organizations.

4.1 Much can be learned from successful examples of the containment of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in different countries in Africa. The sharing of experiences and the provision of technical advice from elsewhere in Africa are tools towards adopting best practices across the continent.

4.2 Essential and comprehensive care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS is required. A continental strategy to ensure the affordable provision of essential anti-retroviral drugs and treatments for opportunistic infections is needed very rapidly. This requires a determined pan-African strategy in partnership with international donors and pharmaceutical companies.

4.3 Peace is an essential pre-requisite for effective programs against HIV/AIDS. African countries and regional and subregional organizations have key roles to play in creating and maintaining peace and security.

4.4 Long-distance migration is a risk factor for HIV/AIDS that demands inter-state cooperation to contain HIV/AIDS.

5 International Partnership

5.1 An estimated US$3 billion is required annually to contain the H IV/AIDS pandemic. The first source for resource commitment must be domestic. In the framework of multi-sectoral strategies, adequate provision for HIV/AIDS programs should be prominently reflected in every ministerial budget.

5.2 This also requires mobilization of resources from every possible source such as the domestic private sector and community resources.

5.3 Foreign donors and international financial institutions must greatly increase their financial commitments to HIV/AIDS and development programs. This assistance, wherever possible, should be in the form of grants, not loans.

5.4 Debt relief is a new potentially important source for both money and political commitment, and as a means of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS programming into development and poverty reduction policies.

5.5 Other sources of finance such as corporations and foundations, and innovative taxes, should also be sought.

5.6 Mechanisms to ensure the quick, effective, direct and accountable delivery of resources to local groups and programmes will be required.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is manageable. With the required political commitment, provision of resources, and strategies that include all stakeholders as valued partners, the HIV/AIDS pandemic can be rolled back and contained. The experience of certain African countries shows that this is achievable. It must now be done across the entire continent. Africa's HIV/AIDS pandemic will be overcome at a continental level or not at all.

B. Plan of Action

1. At the National Level

1.1 Each country should hold a representative national workshop by mid February 2001, to determine how the Recommendations of the ADF can be turned into action at the country level.

1.2 AII governments should prepare reports for the Special Summit of the OAU on HIV/AIDS by mid-March. These should include concrete action on national initiatives at the highest level and resource allocation.

1.3 Civil society organizations, especially PLWAs and Youth, should strengthen their cooperation, evaluate their experience, and prepare for their contribution to the OAU Special Summit.

2. At the Regional and Global Levels

2.1 Africa's Regional Organizations will ensure that the ADF Consensus, Recommendations and Resolutions are kept high on the agendas for meetings of African Heads of State, OAK and subregional organisations.

2.2 During 2001, subregional summits are urged to address the HIV/AIDS challenge as a matter of high priority. To this end, the official subregional organizations should similarly place HIVIAIDS as a top priority in their work.

2.3 At the regional meeting of all Finance and Planning Ministers (Algiers, 23-25 April 2001), the interweaving of Poverty Reduction, Debt Relief and HIV/AIDS strategies should be considered, and common positions on international resourcing for combating HIV/AIDS agreed upon.

2.4 The Special Summit of the OAU on HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases, in Abuja, 25-27 April 2001, should be a pivotal event for the continental campaign to overcome HIVIAIDS. This Consensus statement and Plan of Action should be presented to the Heads of State and Government at that Summit for their adoption. Civil society organizations, PLWA, youth and other stakeholders should be represented as participants.

2.5 The OAU Annual Summit in Lusaka in July 2001 should devote a special session to HIV/AIDS and request that the issue remain on the agenda for future summits, in which the Secretary General of the OAU will present a report on progress made in combating HIV/AIDS and challenges which require most urgent attention.

2.6 At the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, in June 2001, African participants should present a common position based on this Consensus, and a common coordinated demand for international assistance, debt relief, and provision of affordable drugs.

2.7 At the UN Summit for Children, in September 2001, it should be stated clearly that the number one threat to Africa's children is HIV/AIDS, and that there is a collective responsibility among all states to take all possible measures to ensure that the next generation of Africans does not have to face the scourge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

2.8 In addition to the above, means should be devised so that recurrent reviews, sharing of best practices and peer pressure for improved performance takes place at all required levels.-

3. Communications from this Forum

3.1 The major presentations by notables attending the forum should be made widely available to African radio and TV services.

Youth Statement to the African Development Forum

We the young people represented at the African Development Forum 2000 state our position on Aids and leadership:

- recognizing that poverty in Africa plays a major role in shaping both the course and the response to the pandemic;

- Horrified at the number of lives lost unnecessarily to Aids;

- Disillusioned by the fact that our leaders have betrayed us by waging wars, plundering our resources, raiding our national treasuries, and taking insufficient action on HIV/AIDS;

- Deeply saddened that due to the role of the World Bank and the IMF imposed structural adjustment programs, many African states can no longer provide the basic education and health services that are so critical to development;

- Disturbed that the inability of many African states to deliver on health and education services is in direct violation of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights;

- Outraged by the World Bank's decision to offer $500 million in loans to already indebted countries to fight HIV/Aids;

- Deeply concerned that young people have borne the brunt of the HIV/AIDS epidemic both in terms of infections and caring for and supporting family members;

- Further concerned that young women in particular are more susceptible to contracting HIV because of patriarchal attitudes about female sexuality, and this is compounded by their biological vulnerability to infection;

- Cognizant that young people must commit themselves to changing unhealthy behaviors and assuming leadership roles in the fight against HIV/AIDS;

- Optimistic that leaders will now finally begin to listen, speak out and to act;

- Willing to work with leaders at every level, in partnership and mutual respect to triumph over HIV/AIDS and build a new Africa.

We the young people represented at the ADF 2000 call upon leaders in Africa at all levels to do the following:

1. Prevention

a) Every African nation must have an inter-sectoral Aids budget that is jointly administered by civil society and government. Young people must form a critical part of the structure that oversees this fund and must have full voting and decision making power.

b) The United Nations system must create a specific agency to channel funds quickly and without red tape to young people for initiatives that are designed and managed by youth. This agency will be committed to conducting its affairs in a way that is opposed to opulence in the midst of poverty.

c) A tripartite partnership must be established at country level to ensure that government, civil society, and the donor community effectively coordinate activities that are focused on young people and HIV/Aids.

d) Each government must create mechanisms for purchasing and distributing condoms so that prevention efforts that rely on condoms are sustainable.

e) Each government must ensure that all the necessary infrastructure is in place so that young people have access to volunteer testing and counseling, information education about prevention, and care and support services for those of us living with HIV/Aids. African youth organizations must develop tools for monitoring national efforts in the fight against Aids. In particular, a youth checklist for governments must be formulated to assess the youth- friendliness of government's programs on HIV/Aids

2. Treatment

a) The pharmaceutical drug manufacturers that profit exorbitantly from illness must be challenged by young Africans in solidarity with our governments as they attempt to negotiate lower prices and advocate for the use of generic drugs.

b) Youth organizations should strengthen their treatment initiatives by promoting good nutrition and positive living.

c) Policy measures must be put in place by governments to ensure that PLWHAs are not exploited financially by companies and individuals making false claims about treatments and cures.

3. Care, Support, and Stigma

a) Political leaders should govern by example, ensuring that they speak openly and honestly about HIV/Aids.

b) Youth organizations should establish a "Movement for Acceptance" that calls attention to the marginalization of particular groups of young people. In particular this movement will focus on the death of access of access to services and information for young people living with HIV/Aids, young women, and young people living in rural areas, young people living in the street, gay and lesbian youth, young people engaged in sex work, out-of-school youth, and young people living in conflict zones.

4. Challenging Poverty

a) African youth organizations and structures must build alliances with young people around the world who are currently challenging the negative effects of globalization and protesting meetings held by international lending institutions.

b) African youth organizations must lobby the international community to ensure that loans to Africa for Aids are rejected outright.

5. Participation

a) Young people must play a critical role in decision-making for all national Aids strategies and plans.

b) Young people must be represented at all levels of Aids planning and programming at both a community and government level.

c) Young people's capacity to manage effective organizations must be bolstered by policy and legal environments that allow us to seek training, mentorship programs and build strong organizations and structures.


Message-Id: <> From: "APIC" <> Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 12:46:20 -0500 Subject: Africa: AIDS Consensus and Plan

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific