Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Low High bandwidth(Real player)
We, non-governmental organizations and experts from 15 countries of the Middle East, North Africa and South/Southeast Asia, believe that the 2006 High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS constitutes an occasion for reaffirming and enhancing the commitments made by our governments and the international community at the UNGASS 2001.
We strongly believe that the current position taken by some OIC countries at this meeting does not represent the civil society perspectives and best practices regarding HIV/ AIDS within our countries, as well as our commitment to the universality and indivisibility of human rights. We as non-governmental organizations, struggle on a daily basis to provide sexual and reproductive health services, reform laws that discriminate or violate human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, provide comprehensive sexuality education, combat violence against women, including marital rape and sexual abuse, reach out to and protect vulnerable groups and break the taboos associated with sexuality. Full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all is an essential element in the global response to the pandemic.
We underline that the taboos and the politicization of issues around sexuality are major hindrances to prevention of the epidemic in our countries. The denial of the existence of youth and premarital sexuality, extra-marital sexuality, sex work and same sex practices constitutes a dangerous threat to the well-being and public health in our societies.
We are also concerned that some developed countries are failing to commit to the allocation of sufficient resources for HIV/AIDS programs and to establish measurable and time-bound Monitoring and Evaluation mechanisms. Given the imminent threat of an outbreak of the epidemic in our countries, we call upon those countries that the OIC claims to represent:
- To adopt and implement programs and policies to ensure· access to affordable and quality sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education for all girls and boys;
- To promote and protect sexual and reproductive rights for all;
- To adopt measures to fully empower women and girls;
- To recognize and support active participation of vulnerable groups such as sex workers and men having sex with men and injecting drug users in policy formulation and prevention programs;
- To adopt Harm Reduction programs for injecting drug users, particularly in light of the growing transmission of HIV through drug use in many Muslim-majority countries.
We urge all UN member countries to support a comprehensive, forward-looking, and ambitious political declaration, and demonstrate active leadership in bringing and combating HIV/AIDS.
The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies is a solidarity network of 60 leading NGOs working on promotion of sexual, bodily and reproductive rights as human rights in the Middle East/North Africa and South/Southeast Asia.
Contact: Dina Siddiqi Phone: 267-918-1270
Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR)
Hossam Bahgat Phone: 917-945-2155
Monday, July 23, 2007
Islamic Approach to HIV/Aids On Spotlight At Int'l Conference Here Next Week
Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)
20 July 2007
Posted to the web 20 July 2007
By Biruk Girma
World's Muslim leaders are set to convene on the concept of Islamic approach to HIV/AIDS and its implementation among the Muslim society, at an international conference scheduled to be held here from 23 - 27 July, the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC) announced yesterday.
Speaking to reporters on the upcoming conference, Council officials said the five day conference expected to be attended by over 30 countries aims to build and share experience among the Muslim leaders on the issue of HIV/AIDS.
The leaders are also expected to reach a consensus on the strategies and modalities for implementation of the Islamic approach to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support, according to the officials.
Articulating and analyzing the concept focusing on how it could be transformed from theory into practice by sharing experiences on the implementation of various aspects of the issue using the concept would also be brought to light at the meeting, officials explained.
Participants of the 3rd consultation conference will include Muslim religious leaders, Muslims living with HIV/AIDS who are involved in advocacy, government officials and leaders of other organizations interested in promoting the religion's approach to HIV/AIDS.
Around 134 participants from 30 countries are expected to take part in the week-long conference.
The international conference is being organized by EIASC in collaboration with the Islamic Medical Association of Uganda, the US Embassy in Addis Ababa and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Addis Ababa conference is to be held under the theme The Islamic Approach to HIV/AIDS: Enhancing the Community Response, officials said.
The 1st International Muslim Leaders' Consultation was held in the Uganda in 2001 under a theme "Strategies for strengthening and expanding the international Muslim community response to AIDS" with slogans like "Jihad on AIDS: Self discipline using Allah's guidance." The 2nd meeting was held in Malaysia in 2003 under a theme "The caring Ummah, transforming the response." In the year 2000, a group of Muslim practitioners interested in using the Islamic approach to combat HIV/AIDS met in Durban, South Africa during the International AIDS conference.
It was there noted that the experiences and culture of Muslim communities in the fight against AIDS were not being adequately catered for by the then conferences.
"Thus, they agreed that these consultation conferences should be held to share the experiences of Muslim communities and chart the way forward regarding the Islamic approach to combating AIDS" council officials said.