UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

UN AIDS SESSION - MBEKI ABSENT

STATEMENT ISSUED BY STATEMENT ISSUED BY JAKES MASEKA, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR HEALTH

The UDM can find no good reason why President Thabo Mbeki will not be attending the United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS in New York. This is especially significant as 42 million people world-wide are HIV positive, many of them in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In light of the President's efforts as self-proclaimed pioneer of African Renaissance, it is ironic that he will not be attending this important event, which serves as a forum for the nations of the world and Africa to positively address HIV/AIDS. Constructively dealing with HIV/AIDS will directly impact on the success of Mbeki's Millennium Africa Recovery Plan.

This forum could have been used by the President to rally support for much needed funding. Instead his absence will again shift the focus away from prevention to Mbeki's personal views on the matter. It is a continuing and futile controversy, which will cost millions of South Africans their lives.

The UDM calls upon President Mbeki to urgently address HIV/AIDS with renewed vigour and constructive action, as every effort and resource must be applied to the prevention of, and the fight against, this pandemic.

Enquiries:
Jakes Maseka MP
UDM Spokesperson on Health
082 821 6290

Cape Town
25 June 2001