The Herald (Harare)

23 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Unaids Head to Attend HIV, SRHR Summit

Delegates from 45 African countries are expected in Harare today for a high level HIV and Aids, gender and women empowerment conference. The meeting will run for two days starting tomorrow and ending on Friday. Director in Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe's office Mrs Addeles Sibutha yesterday said the delegates include Members of Parliament and representatives of civic society.

"The executive director of UNAIDS, Michelle Sidibe will be coming in from Geneva," she said.

"Also coming is Nigeria's Finance Minister Mdozi Okonjo Iweala, who will deliver the keynote address and will be the guest of honour."

The summit will run under the theme "Accelerated Action for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality in the Area of HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights" and is being hosted by Global Power Women Network Africa. Global Power Women Network Africa is an organisation for women set up in Washington in 2010 during a meeting that was attended by female leaders from Africa. DPM Khupe was elected president of the organisation for Africa at the occasion.

"We would like to deliberate on issues affecting women and in the end come up with a resolution called "Harare Call to Action" that will be similar to the Abuja or Maputo Declarations that will later be tabled at the African Union," said Mrs Sibutha

"We want heads of governments to understand our cause and be able to accommodate it in their budgets."

Mrs Sibutha said the idea was to push for zero tolerance to new HIV infections, zero mother-to-child transmission, zero gender violence and zero poverty for women.

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