EXAMINING IMPLICATIONS OF HIV/AIDS FOR UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, COUNCIL WARNS OF POTENTIAL RISK
NEW YORK, 28 June (UN Headquarters) -- Welcoming the successful holding of the just-concluded General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS, the Security Council stressed this morning that the pandemic may pose a risk to stability and security if left unchecked.
In a statement read by Council President Anwarul Chowdhury (Bangladesh), it recognized that the pandemic was also exacerbated by conditions of violence and instability. Recognizing also that further efforts were necessary to reduce the negative impact of conflict and disasters in the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Council welcomed the fact that the declaration adopted at the special session contained practical measures to reduce that impact, including the provision of awareness and training for United Nations and other relevant personnel.
The Council welcomed efforts to develop practical measures such as the development of the HIV/AIDS Awareness Card for distribution to all peacekeeping operations after testing in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). It recognized the need to develop the capacity of peacekeepers to become advocates and actors for awareness and prevention of HIV transmission, and encouraged continued efforts for relevant training for peacekeeping, pre-deployment orientation, and increased international cooperation in prevention; voluntary, confidential testing and counselling; treatment for personnel; and exchange of best practices and countries' policies.
After reading the statement, the President said the text was further evidence of the importance the Council was giving to the implications of HIV/AIDS for United Nations peacekeeping operations. Reference had already been made to Council resolution 1308 (2000), which had highlighted the pandemic's potentially damaging impact on the health of international peacekeepers, including support personnel.
He expressed appreciation for the development of the Awareness Card for peacekeepers, developed by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and adjourned at 10:21 a.m.
Following is the full text of Presidential statement S/PRST/16 (2001):
"The Security Council welcomes the successful holding of the twenty-sixth special session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, and encourages further action to address the problem of HIV/AIDS.
"The Security Council recalls its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000, in which the Council, bearing in mind its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and emphasizing the important roles of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in addressing the social and economic factors that lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS, inter alia, recognized that the HIV/AIDS pandemic is also exacerbated by conditions of violence and instability, and stressed that the HIV/AIDS pandemic, if unchecked, may pose a risk to stability and security.
"The Security Council therefore welcomes the fact that the declaration adopted at the twenty-sixth special session of the General Assembly addresses HIV/AIDS in conflict and disaster affected regions, and contains a number of practical measures at the national and international levels, to be met within given timeframes, to reduce the impact of conflict and disasters on the spread of HIV/AIDS, including the provision of awareness and training for personnel employed by United Nations agencies and other relevant organizations, the development of national strategies to address the spread of HIV amongst national uniformed services, as required, and the inclusion of HIV/AIDS awareness and training into guidelines designed for personnel involved in international peacekeeping operations.
"The Security Council also recalls its open debate on 19 January 2001, taking stock of progress made since the adoption of resolution 1308 (2000). The Council notes the progress made in the implementation of the resolution, and commends the increased cooperation in this regard between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) through the Memorandum of Understanding between them signed in January 2001. Further, the Council welcomes the efforts to develop practical measures, such as the planned joint United Nations field assessment missions to major peacekeeping operations, and the development of the HIV/AIDS Awareness Card for Peacekeeping Operations to be distributed to all peacekeeping operations after testing in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone. The Council also welcomes the fact that the cooperation framework signed in May this year between UNAIDS and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) expresses their intention to cooperate in the follow-up to resolution 1308 (2000), as well as resolution 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000 on women, peace and security.
"The Security Council recognizes that further efforts are necessary to reduce the negative impact of conflict and disasters on the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to develop the capacity of peacekeepers to become advocates and actors for awareness and prevention of HIV transmission. The Council encourages continued efforts with regard to relevant training for peacekeeping, pre-deployment orientation, and increased international cooperation by interested Member States in areas such as prevention, voluntary and confidential testing and counselling, treatment for personnel, and the exchange of best practices and countries’ policies in this regard. The Council encourages UNAIDS and DPKO to further pursue the implementation of resolution 1308 (2000), including through the consideration of further efforts to enhance cooperation, such as the inclusion of HIV/AIDS advisors in peacekeeping operations, and revision, as required, of relevant codes of conduct.
"The Security Council expresses its intention to contribute within its competence to the attainment of the relevant objectives in the declaration adopted at the twenty-sixth special session of the General Assembly in carrying out the Council’s work, in particular in its follow-up to resolution 1308 (2000)."
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* 4337th & 8th were closed meetings.