The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch (CPA UK) is pleased to announce that UN AIDS Ambassador Ms Annie Lennox OBE will give the closing plenary address at the International Parliamentary Conference on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ‘Reaching for 2015: Governance, Accountability and the Role of the Parliamentarian’ on Thursday 1 December 2011. Addressing the topic ‘Parliamentarians as advocates for global development’ Ms Lennox will use the opportunity to call for greater action from parliaments in tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be addressing politicians at this conference. As a special envoy for CPA Scotland Branch with regard to the issue of HIV AIDS, I have been striving to contribute to the long standing Scottish tradition of standing up for human rights and justice, with special regard to women and children in the developing world. This conference offers the opportunity to promote this cause to a wider range of decision makers.”
Ms Lennox will be joined by Rt Hon. Lord Malloch-Brown KCMG PC, former Foreign and Commonwealth Minister and Deputy Secretary-General of the UN. The session will be chaired by Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons.
The session will mark the conclusion of the conference, hosted by CPA UK in the UK Houses of Parliament from 28 November-1 December 2011. The conference will bring together high profile parliamentarians from Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth legislatures, including prominent politicians from the world’s newest country, South Sudan, with the aim of building parliamentary capacity to ensure that effective
accountability mechanisms are at the core of all elements of the Millennium Development Goals process in the countdown to the 2015 deadline to meet the targets.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Mr Bercow commented, “We as parliamentarians have an important role to play in order to meet the MDG targets set by 2015. I look forward to meeting with international parliamentarians on World AIDS Day to discuss how we can work together to help act as advocates for global development.”
The conference will also examine the importance of cooperation with civil society organisations, and delegates will hear from representatives including:
Mr Charles Abugre, Regional Director for Africa, UN Millennium Campaign
Mr Ignacio Saez, Director, Centre for Economic and Social Rights
Other keynote speakers will include among others:
Rt Hon. The Lord Howell of Guildford, Minister of State for the Commonwealth
Rt Hon. Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State, Department for International Development
H. E. Karmalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women and Children’s Health at the World Health Organisation
Coinciding with World AIDS Day the conference will be drawn to a close with a performance of a newly commissioned play produced in partnership by CPA UK, the People’s Palace Project, Queen Mary University and the State of the Nation Crew, Theatre Royal Stratford East. The play, in which actors will speak the verbatim words of people living with HIV/AIDS, will challenge politicians to reflect on their attitudes toward HIV/AIDs and encourage them to speak out against stigma and discrimination.