Norwegian Minister speaks at the UN
Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess was present today when Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim delivered Norways address to the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS.
In his statement Minister Solheim focused on positive developments, in particular the fact that now, 30 years after the first cases of HIV were reported, the number of new HIV infections is finally declining and the number of AIDS-related deaths has stabilised. Minister Solheim also spoke of the importance of using this historic opportunity to ensure the viability of the future AIDS response, including securing the necessary funding.
Following the address, the Crown Princess met representatives of the Norwegian press together with Minister Solheim and Norwegian youth delegate Anette Remme.
The next item on the programme, directly after the press conference, was a larger debate on the theme of Women, Girls and HIV, organised by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Focus on youth
In her capacity as Special Representative for UNAIDS, Crown Princess Mette-Marit has worked for many years to encourage youth involvement and promote youth leadership in the HIV/AIDS response. During her time in New York the Crown Princess has again met young leaders from across the world to listen to their experiences and help ensure that the youth voice is heard in the negotiations during the High Level Meeting.
In a moderated panel debate held today during the UNAIDS side event Young people in the AIDS response, the Crown Princess repeated her message about the importance of allowing young people to take the lead in efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé also participated in the debate, which was moderated by National UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for China James Chau. In addition, several young leaders whom the Crown Princess had met in Mali earlier this year took part. These same young people have also been involved in the High Level Meeting negotiations.
The aim of the event was to highlight good examples of the role young people have played in efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. There were also calls for firm commitments to be made to allow young people to take part in shaping the future HIV/AIDS response. Several leaders and other people who have been participating actively in the High Level Meeting negotiations were also present.
The event was organised in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), among others.