The Joint United Nation Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the 2016 UN High Level meeting on HIV/AIDS.
Dr Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director, made the call while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday ahead of the forum.
Camara said UNAIDS is counting on Buhari because the president is one of the well respected and articulate world leaders.
He described the president as a visionary leader who loves his country and his people, and leads by example that very much appreciated at global level.
“The presence of President Muhammadu Buhari will add a lot of values, weight and importance to the event that is why we need strong leaders like him at the event.
“The respect and position of Nigeria’s President at global level will help us to say that we have somebody in our midst who is leading,’’ said the official.
He added that UNAIDS wants to have some African leaders in attendance to lead some of the panels and discussion sessions.
“We certainly believe that Nigeria’s position, politically and economically is a very good one,’’ Camara said.
According to Camara, UNAIDS wants the delegation from Nigeria to be lead by the President accompanied by the Minister of Health, the Director-General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
“Others expected are Ministers of Finance, Women Affairs and Social Development.
“We believe that they are critical to address the HIV/AIDS issues in Nigerian and ECOWAS.’’
Camara said the meeting was aimed at achieving the ending HIV/AIDS by 2030, would be held in New York, United States of America, from June 8 to June 10.
He said the meeting would focus on the importance of accelerating the response to HIV over the next five years to set the world on course to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
“The meeting aim having inputs from all the UN member states to reflect on what it takes to achieve ending AIDS by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“All Member States must work together on a strong political declaration that will create the conditions needed to fast-track action and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
“The idea is to ensure that Africa like any other continent can go and get its voice heard,’’ he said, stressing that issue on ending the scourge would be raised and discussed. (NAN)