ABUJA DECLARATION ON HIV

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ABUJA DECLARATION ON HIV/AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND

OTHER RELATED INFECTIOUS DISEASES

April 27, 2001


ABUJA DECLARATION ON HIV/AIDS,

TUBERCULOSIS AND OTHER RELATED INFECTIOUS DISEASES

 

We, the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) 
met in Abuja, Nigeria from 26-27 April 2001, at a Special Summi tdevoted specifically 
to address the exceptional challenges of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related 
Infectious Diseases, at the invitation of H.E. President Olusegun Obasanjo of the 
Federal Republic of Nigeria and in accordance with the agreement reached at the 
Thirty-Sixth Ordinary Session of our Assembly in Lome, Togo from 10 to 12 July 2000.

2.  We gathered in Abuja to undertake a critical review and assessment of

the situation and the consequences of these diseases in Africa, and to

reflect further on new ways and means whereby we, the leaders of our

Continent, can take the lead in strengthening current successful

interventions and developing new and more appropriate policies, practical

strategies, effective implementation mechanisms and concrete monitoring

structures at national, regional and continental levels with a view to

ensuring adequate and effective control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and

Other Related Infectious Diseases in our Continent. 



3.  We are deeply concerned about the rapid spread of HIV infection in our

countries and the millions of deaths caused by AIDS, Tuberculosis and

other related infectious diseases throughout the Continent, in spite of

the serious efforts being made by our countries to control these diseases. 

Africa is exceptionally afflicted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  This

generalised epidemic is affecting a wide cross-section of our people, thus

decimating the adult population, the most productive group, and leaving in

its wake millions of orphans, and disrupted family structures.



4.  We recognize the role played by poverty, poor nutritional conditions

and underdevelopment in increasing vulnerability.  We are concerned about

the millions of African children who have died from AIDS and other

preventable infectious diseases.  We are equally concerned about the

particular and severe impact that these diseases have on children and

youth who represent the future of our continent, the plight of millions of

children orphaned by AIDS and the impact on the social system in our

countries.



5.  We are particularly concerned about the high incidence of mother to

child transmission, especially given the challenges of infant

breastfeeding in the context of HIV infection on the continent. 

 

6.  We recognize that special efforts are required to ensure that Africa's

children are protected from these pandemics and their consequences and

that the full and effective participation of young people in prevention

and control programmes is essential to their success.

 

7.  We recognise that biologically, women and girls are particularly

vulnerable to HIV infection.  In addition, economic and social

inequalities and traditionally accepted gender roles leave them in a

subordinate position to men.



8.  We appreciate the special needs and challenges of the HIV/AIDS

pandemic for the youth that make them vulnerable to infection and adverse

impacts of the epidemic.



9.  We recognize that the practice of injectable drug abuse with sharing

of contaminated needles in some African countries is a major concern.  The

abuse of alcohol, marijuana and other mind-altering drugs, which is on the

increase among the youth further enhances their vulnerability to HIV

infection. 



10.  We recognize the essential place that education, in its widest sense

has played and will continue to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS in

Africa.  Education constitutes the most powerful, cost effective tool for

reaching the largest number of people with information and personal

development strategies that promote long-term behaviour change.



11.  We acknowledge that forced migrations due to war, conflicts, natural

disasters and economic factors including unilateral sanctions imposed on

some African countries, lead to an increased vulnerability and the spread

of the disease; we note that special attention should be given to

migrants, mobile populations, refugees and internally displaced persons in

national and regional policies.  We also note that special attention

should be given to the problem trafficking in human beings and its impact

on HIV/AIDS.



12.  We are aware that stigma, silence, denial and discrimination against

people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) increase the impact of the epidemic and

constitute a major barrier to an effective response to it.  We recognize

the importance of greater involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

 

13.  We recognise that the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other

Related Infectious Diseases constitute not only a major health crisis, but

also an exceptional threat to Africa's development, social cohesion,

political stability, food security as well as the greatest global threat

to the survival and life expectancy of African peoples.  These diseases,

which are themselves exacerbated by poverty and conflict situations in our

Continent, also entail a devastating economic burden, through the loss of

human capital, reduced productivity and the diversion of human and

financial resources to care and treatment.

14.  We recognize the need to intensify our efforts in all areas of

research such as traditional medicines and vaccine development.



15.  We are fully convinced that containing and reversing the HIV/AIDS

epidemic, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases should constitute our

top priority for the first quarter of the 21st Century.  We are equally

convinced that tackling these epidemics should constitute an integral part

of our continental Agenda for promoting poverty reduction, sustainable

development and ensuring durable peace and political security and

stability consistent with the Millennium African Recovery Programme.



16.  We recognise and commend the efforts by our respective national

Governments, our continental Organisation and its Regional Economic

Communities (RECs), the national and international NGOs, the civil

society, including youth, women, people with disability, religious

organisations, sport organizations, Trade Unions, Employers organizations,

Traditional Health Practitioners, Traditional Rulers, people living with

HIV/AIDS and individuals, who care for, support and sensitise our people

to the threat of HIV/AIDS and the associated opportunistic infections

including Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).



17.  We acknowledge the support that the international Community,

including the United Nations System, its Specialised Agencies and

programmes, bilateral agencies, private sector and other communities and

stakeholders have provided in raising awareness about and combating the

scourge of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other related infectious diseases in

Africa. 



18.  We further acknowledge that, to successfully implement a

comprehensive and multisectoral approach and campaign to overcome

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other related infectious diseases, there is a

need to secure adequate financial and human resources at national and

international levels.



19.  We recognize the need to establish a sustainable source of income to

fund HIV/AIDS programmes.



20.  We recognise the importance of leadership at all levels in the fight

against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases in

our Continent.  We, therefore, acknowledge the special importance of the

"African Consensus and Plan of Action: Leadership to overcome HIV/AIDS"

adopted at the African Development Forum 2000 as the outcome of a

wide-ranging process of consultation with all stakeholders.



21.  In this regard, we recall and reaffirm our commitment to all relevant

decisions, declarations and resolutions in the area of health and

development and on HIV/AIDS, particularly the "Declaration on HIV/AIDS in

Africa" (July 2000) and the "Decision on the adoption of the International

Partnership against HIV/AIDS". 

 

WE SOLEMNLY DECLARE AS FOLLOWS: 

 

22.  We consider AIDS as a State of Emergency in the continent.  To this

end, all tariff and economic barriers to access to funding of AIDS-related

activities should be lifted. 



23.  To place the fight against HIV/AIDS at the forefront and as the

highest priority issue in our respective national development plans.  To

that end, WE ARE RESOLVED to consolidate the foundations for the

prevention and control of the scourge of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other

Related Infectious Diseases through a comprehensive multisectoral strategy

which involves all appropriate development sectors of our governments as

well as a broad mobilisation of our societies at all levels, including

community level organisations, civil society, NGOs, the private sector,

trade unions, the media, religious organisations, schools, youth

organisations, women organisations, people living with HIV/AIDS

organizations and individuals who care for, support and sensitise our

population to the threat of HIV/AIDS and associated opportunistic

infections and also to protect those not yet infected, particularly the

women, children and youth through appropriate and effective prevention

programmes.



24.  To that effect, WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

AND PROVIDE LEADERSHIP for the activities of the National AIDS

Commissions/Councils.  WE THEREFORE RESOLVE to lead from the front the

battle against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious

Diseases by personally ensuring that such bodies were properly convened in

mobilizing our societies as a whole and providing focus for unified

national policy-making and programme implementation, ensuring coordination

of all sectors at all levels with a gender perspective and respect for

human rights, particularly to ensure equal rights for people living with

HIV/AIDS (PLWA).

 

25.  WE ALSO COMMIT OURSELVES TO ENSURE that leadership role is exercised

by everyone in his/her area of responsibility in the fight against

HIV/AIDS and other related diseases. WE THEREFORE ENDORSE the "African

Consensus and Plan of Action: Leadership to overcome HIV/AIDS"  during the

Second African Development Forum on "AIDS: The Greatest Leadership

Challenge" organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

(UNECA) in collaboration with the OAU, UNAIDS and ILO (Addis Ababa, 3-7

December 2000).



26.  WE COMMIT OURSELVES to take all necessary measures to ensure that the

needed resources are made available from all sources and that they are

efficiently and effectively utilized.  In addition, WE PLEDGE to set a

target of allocating at least 15% of our annual budget to the improvement

of the health sector.  WE ALSO PLEDGE to make available the necessary

resources for the improvement of the comprehensive multi-sectoral

response, and that an appropriate and adequate portion of this amount is

put at the disposal of the National Commissions/Councils for the fight

against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases.



27.  WE REQUEST the OAU Secretariat, in collaboration with ADB, ECA, and

all other partner institutions, especially WHO and UNAIDS, to assist

Member States in formulating a continental-wide policy for an

international assistance strategy for the mobilisation of additional

financial resources.



28.  WE CALL UPON Donor countries to complement our resources mobilization

efforts to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related

Infectious Diseases. Bearing in mind that Africa cannot, from its weak

resource base, provide the huge financial resources needed.  In this

regard, WE URGE those countries to, among others, fulfill the yet to be

met target of 0.7% of their GNP as official Development Assistance (ODA)

to developing countries.



29.  We support the creation of a Global AIDS Fund capitalized by the

donor community to the tune of US $5 - 10 billion accessible to all

affected countries to enhance operationalization of Action Plans,

including accessing Anti-retroviral programmes in favour of the

populations of Africa. 

 

30.  WE UNDERTAKE to mobilize all the human, material and financial

resources required to provide CARE and SUPPORT and quality treatment to

our populations infected with HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related

Infections, and to organize meetings to evaluate the status of

implementation of the objective of access to care. 



31.  WE RESOLVE to enact and utilize appropriate legislation and

international trade regulations to ensure the availability of drugs at

affordable prices and technologies for treatment, care and prevention of

HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Infectious Diseases.  WE ALSO RESOLVE to

take immediate action to use tax exemption and other incentives to reduce

the prices of drugs and all other inputs in health care services for

accelerated improvement of the health of our populations.



32.  WE COMMIT OURSELVES to explore and further develop the potential of

traditional medicine and traditional health practitioners in the

prevention, care and management of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other

Related Infectious Diseases.



33.  WE COMMIT OURSELVES to support the development of effective

affordable, accessible HIV vaccine relevant to Africa.  We, therefore,

support "The Africa; AIDS Vaccine Programme"(AAVP), its collaborative

partners, International partners and Institutions committed to the

facilitation of HIV vaccine research and testing in Africa. 



34.  WE COMMIT OURSELVES to documenting and sharing these successful and

positive experiences with a view to sustaining and scaling them up for

wider coverage; mindful that there are still challenges that confront us,

particularly in the area of infant feeding.



35.  WE COMMIT OURSELVES to scaling up the role of education and

information in the fight against HIV/AIDS in recognition of the essential

role education, in its widest sense plays as a cost-effective tool for

reaching the largest number of people.



36.  WE COMMIT OURSELVES to the strengthening and development of special

youth programmes to ensure an AIDS-free generation.



37.  WE, within the framework and spirit of our Sirte Declaration of 9

September 1999, RENEW THE MANDATE of our brothers, President Bouteflika of

Algeria, President Mbeki of South Africa and President Obasanjo of Nigeria

to continue discussion with our debt creditors, on our behalf, with the

view to securing the total cancellation of Africa's external debt in

favour of increased investment in the social sector.



38.  WE ENDORSE the Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other

Related Infectious Diseases; and WE PLEDGE to promote advocacy at the

national, regional and international levels; and WE ALSO PLEDGE to ensure

massive participation of Heads of State and Government at the United

Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS slated for

25 - 27 June 2001 so as to ensure that the session comes up with concrete

and urgent decisions for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa including

the fight against poverty and deduction of Africa's debt. 

 

39.  WE REQUEST the OAU Secretary General, in collaboration with ECA, ADB,

UNAIDS, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, ILO, UNFPA, FAO, UNESCO, UNIFEM, IOM, UNDCP and

other partners, to follow-up on the implementation of the outcome of this

Summit and submit a report to the Ordinary Sessions of our Assembly. 



40.  WE MANDATE the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to

submit a report on the outcome of this African Summit on HIV/AIDS,

Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases to the next Ordinary

OAU Summit which will be held in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2001.

 

Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria

 

27 April 2001

 

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