ARUSHA, Tanzania, May 4, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Secretary General of the EAC Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera today received a joint team of United Nations Agencies on HIV and AIDS Co-sponsors (UNAID, UNICEF, UNODC, UNFPA and IOM) who paid him a courtesy call at the EAC headquarters.
At the meeting, the Secretary General underscored the need for the HIV and AIDS Co-sponsors to focus their support and cooperation on the areas which can add value at the national and region levels, especially through design of better policies to shape HIV and AIDS responses.
Amb. Sezibera also noted the importance of revising the Regional HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (2008-2013) and aligning it with the current EAC Development Strategy of 2012-2016 as well as devoting resources to addressing HIV and AIDS.
“I believe it is possible for our region to have a HIV and AIDS free generation if the right resources are invested in preventing it,” said the Secretary General. He added that the biggest challenge facing Partner States was the issue of ownership in terms of preventing and responsiveness to HIV and AIDS.
The head of the visiting delegation Dr. Mbulawa Mugabe, who is also Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations' Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) for Eastern and Southern Africa, said they were looking forward to working with the EAC and indicated that the possible areas of collaboration and support could be in policy harmonization and knowledge management.
Dr. Mugabe informed the Secretary General that the UN agencies were keen on supporting efforts to influence the leadership at the highest levels as a means of ensuring more resources are committed to HIV/AIDS initiatives.