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African Union Summit Attendees Address Health Issues

Heads of State attending the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday, the final day of the meeting, made “a commitment … to increase efforts to improve the continent’s health indicators,” Prensa Latina reports. “The 13 Heads of State, along with another 50 leading figures from world organizations analyzed the level of implementation of the so-called Road Map on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity to respond to AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in Africa, adopted last July,” the news service writes (5/27). “I celebrate your progress — and I share your resolve to do even more. … I urge you to continue investing in an AIDS-free Africa. This will improve the health, empowerment and human rights of your citizens,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to the summit, according to a UNAIDS press release. Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said, “We have a moment of historic greatness, and if we all work together with a sense of shared responsibility and coordinated action, we will defeat these diseases,” the press release states (5/26). The Heads of State also endorsed “the first-ever accountability report [.pdf] focused on health issues by the African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and [UNAIDS],” a second UNAIDS press release notes (5/25).