Minister of State addresses Europe-Africa Ministerial Conference
Ms Liz O'Donnell, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for development coordination and human rights, represented the Government today at the Europe-Africa Ministerial Conference in Brussels.
Addressing the Conference on the subject of HIV/AIDS and other pandemics, the Minister emphasised the urgency of implementing the commitments in this area which were given by the European side at the Cairo Summit of April 2000. "It is crucially important that we break the vicious cycle of ill-health and poverty. Investment in health as part of a comprehensive programme of poverty reduction is the key to progress." The Minister said that "those most in need should be given access to key medicines and treatment and the establishment of a global tiered pricing system should be accelerated."
The Minister suggested that the economic impact of HIV/AIDS should be taken into account for debt relief and indicated that additional resources amounting to $30 million would be allocated by Ireland to the effort to combat HIV/AIDS. We will spend this money through whatever channels we see as most effective, including our bilateral programmes, NGO activities (including missionary orders) and international organisations."Top