Cape Town — The International AIDS Society has chosen South Africa to host the International AIDS Conference in Durban on July 18-22 this year, the Presidency announced on Monday.
The conference is expected to draw 13,000 international delegates to address the epidemic, the Presidency said.
"Besides the tourism opportunities presented by our hosting of this conference, South Africa will use this opportunity to mark the progress we have made in fighting the AIDS epidemic," presidential spokesperson Bogani Majola said.
The SA government will in the coming weeks make further announcements about this conference especially plans to have civil society take centre stage in the planning and execution of the conference, said Majola.
In addition to the AIDs conference, South Africa will be hosting the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) from September 24 to October 5 this year in Johannesburg, the Presidency said.
The CITES is a powerful tool for biodiversity conservation, regulating the international trade in wild fauna and flora to ensure the international trade is sustainable and not detrimental to the survival of species in the wild.
The Presidency said 181 parties are signatories to the CITES and more than 2,000 participants are expected to attend the COP17.
It will be the first time since 2000 that a COP of this convention is held on the African continent.
South Africa will also host the 35th International Geological Congress from August 27 to September 4 this year, according to the Presidency.
Considered the "World Cup for geologists" the congress aims to promote geoscience and socio-economic development on the African continent, with the impact being increased research in geosciences and opportunities for new mineral and petroleum discoveries.
The congress will also expose young African scientists to world-class researchers, thus contributing to the transformation of the research fraternity.
The specific venue for the congress is yet to be decided.