South Asia Inter-Religious Council on HIV/AIDS Formed at International AIDS Conference

July 16, 2004

Source: UN News Service

On July 16, 2004 UN News Service reported, "The 15th International AIDS Conference wound up its week of work in Bangkok, Thailand...with ringing calls from UN officials for solidarity in the battle against the pandemic. The world would never be the same again because AIDS had rewritten the rules, leaving 'millions of orphans, children taking care of families, schools without teachers, States without fiscal revenues, fields without farmers, and rising numbers of people living in extreme poverty,' said Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). An exceptional threat demanded exceptional financing, development, trade rules, activist strategies, public service delivery and fiscal ceilings, he said, calling for action across those fronts...South Asian religious leaders in Bangkok, meanwhile, formed the South Asia Inter-Religious Council on HIV/AIDS, comprising senior representatives of the Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Sikh, Jain and Baha'i faiths. The initiative followed from the South Asia Interfaith Consultation on Children, Young People and HIV/AIDS, organized by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kathmandu, Nepal, in December 2003. At the meeting, participants pledged to strengthen their cooperation in addressing the pandemic."