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[afro-nets] Action - Lobby African governments now for stronger new UNGASS Declaration


  • From: "Omololu Falobi" <omololu@nigeria-aids.org>
  • Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 21:25:31 +0100

Action - Lobby African governments now for stronger new UNGASS Declaration
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Dear all,

CRITICAL ACTION NEEDED BY AFRICAN ADVOCATES TO LOBBY THEIR GOVERNMENTS!

This week, representatives of member-states of the United Nations in
New York, began negotiations on the draft declaration by governments
to be considered at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level
Review Meeting on HIV/AIDS at the end of this month. African peoples
are at risk of losing and/or not achieving recognition of critical
goals that have been already agreed to both in the Special Summit of
the African Union on AIDS, TB and Malaria that held last week in
Abuja, Nigeria.

Due to lack of proper briefing by their home governments, African
diplomats at the UN are not using the African Common Position Paper
to the UNGASS (adopted by African Heads of States and Governments at
the AU Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria May 2-4 2006), as a basis for
their positions during the negotiations. The African Common Position
Paper contains many important targets and commitments for halting HIV
and AIDS, that African heads of states signed onto at the Abuja
Summit last week. There is a real need for African NGOs to start
contacting their governments to ask them to send clear instructions
to their missions in New York that the African Common Position should
be the basis for their position during the negotiations.

The African Union declaration provides great leverage with other
missions so it is important that the African governments base their
negotiations on this as a group.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Write a letter to your health minister and foreign minister ON OR
BEFORE MONDAY 15 MAY, asking them to instruct their country permanent
mission in New York to utilise the attached African Common Position
Paper to the UNGASS (adopted by African Heads of States and
Governments at the AU Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria May 2-4 2006), as
a basis for their positions during the negotiations.

2. Write or email the Prof Alpha Konare, Chairperson of the African
Union Commission (see address below) alerting him to the urgent need
to share widely the African Common Position Paper to the UNGASS to
all Permanent Representatives to the AU, as well as the AU Permanent
Observer Mission to the UN. The letter should request all AU member-
states to instruct their UN permanent missions in New York to use the
African Common Position Paper as basis for their positions during the
negotiations. Please address your letter to:

Prof Alpha Konare
Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
mailto:KonareA@africa-union.org
Fax: +251 11 53 36 16

The following is a sample of draft letter to your health minister, foreign minister or the AU Commission chairperson:

*****
Dear Hon. Minister or Chairperson of the AU Commission:

On May 4, at the Special Summit of the African Union on AIDS, TB and
Malaria held in Abuja, Nigeria, African heads of states adopted the
African Common Position Paper to the UNGASS.

The African Common Position Paper contains many important targets and
commitments for halting HIV and AIDS on the commitment and is a
remarkable demonstration of a high sense of responsibility by African
leaders towards combating the epidemic.

We understand that representatives of member-states of the United
Nations in New York have begun negotiations on the draft declaration
by governments to be considered at the United Nations General
Assembly High-Level Review Meeting on HIV/AIDS at the end of this
month. Many representatives of AU member-states at the UN are not
using the African Common Position Paper as a basis for their
positions during the negotiations. This lapse severely undermines the
outcome of the Abuja Summit and the credibility of African heads of
states, as well as the AU itself.

We urge you to the urgently instruct your UN permanent missions in
New York to use the African Common Position Paper as basis for their
positions during the negotiations.

Thank you very much for your prompt action.

Yours,

[name of your NGO or network]

*****

Please contact us at the email addresses below if you want a copy of
the version of the African Position Paper adopted by the African
heads of states at the Abuja meeting.

The negotiations on the UNGASS draft declaration will be concluded
within the next few days. Please act now to ensure that the important
commitments of the Abuja Summit are not missed out in the UNGASS
declaration.

Thank you.

--
Omololu Falobi
mailto:omololu@nigeria-aids.org

Sisonke Msimang
mailto:sisonkem@osisa.org

On behalf of the African Civil Society Coalition on HIV and AIDS