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Sinn Féin supports EU HIV/AIDS resolution

1 December, 2004

Speaking after a debate in the European Parliament on World AIDS Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has called on EU leaders to do more to assist the developing world combat the ever growing pandemic.

Ms de Brún said:

"Today there are 40 million people across the globe living with HIV/AIDS. Of this number almost 50% are women and 90% from developing countries. Within the developed world the number of people living with HIV has doubled since 1995.

"This is an issue of global significance, which requires united global action.

"There is a need for more research and development of therapeutic and preventative treatments. There is also need for greater promotion of sexual health and safe sex practices.

"Political leaders need to recognise the relationship between poverty, discrimination and HIV/AIDS, and the centrality of implementing the Millenium Development Goals to breaking the cycle of underdevelopment, poverty and disease.

"Pharmaceutical companies also have a responsibility and governments must look at ways to reduce prices to enable developing countries to afford the antiviral drugs which are widely available in the industrialised world.

"In light of all of this I am delighted to support the all party European Parliamentary resolution on HIV/AIDS today.

"In particular Sinn Féin supports the call on the new Commission to ensure that funding continues to plug the 'decency gap' left by the US withdrawal of UNFPA funding, not only in the developing world but also in Eastern Europe and Central Asia;

"We welcomes the Commission's statement of 23 November 2004 on the presentation in April 2005 of an action plan to fight AIDS and looks forward to concrete actions;

"All world political leaders and governments have a responsibility to address this growing crisis. The EU in particular must show leadership. I hope the unanimity of opinion which this resolution represents will lead to significant and radical action by EY member states and the European commission in the months ahead." ENDS

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