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UNAIDS, Lancet Commission Addresses AIDS Response, Global Health Issues

“Strategic challenges for the future of the AIDS response and global health were discussed at the first meeting of the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission: From AIDS to Sustainable Health, which was held in Lilongwe, Malawi, from June 28-29, 2013,” a UNAIDS press release reports. “Three main issues were debated during the two days: the need to harness shifting global and domestic resource flows for health; trade, innovation and commodity security; and the democratization of global health,” according to the press release (7/1). The commission comprises more than 30 commissioners from around the world, and the summit drew together dignitaries including Malawi President Joyce Banda, Gabon First Lady Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, Rwanda First Lady Jeanette Kagame, and former Botswana President Festus Mogae, according to the Malawi News Agency (6/29).

At the summit’s opening on Friday, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé applauded Malawi’s efforts in addressing HIV/AIDS, a separate MNA article notes (6/29). Banda said, “Let’s openly discuss HIV and AIDS issues to end stigma and discrimination,” Agence France-Presse reports (6/30). The commission will hold its next meeting “in Brazil in 2014, hosted by the former President of Brazil and UNAIDS and Lancet Commissioner President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,” the UNAIDS press release notes (7/1). In related news, the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS on Monday at its 32nd meeting “announced its commitment to lay the foundations to end the AIDS epidemic” and “added that this commitment included realizing UNAIDS vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero-AIDS related deaths,” according to a separate UNAIDS press release (7/1).