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EQUILIBRES ET POPULATIONS. 2000 Jun-Jul; (59):4-5.A special UN session was held in New York during June 6-10, 2000, to evaluate the progress achieved since the Beijing Conference on Women. According to Françoise Gaspard, France’s representative to the UN Commission on Women’s Rights, negotiations at the special session were particularly difficult. It is always hard to create a satisfactory conference declaration when the rule of the day is consensus. A few countries always oppose such consensus. Latin American countries, however, abandoned their former position similar to that of Iran and the Vatican to instead adopt far more progressive stances upon reproductive rights. Progress is occurring slowly. While still not enough, the conference’s final statement marks a certain number of advances in the fight against violence, women’s role in decision-making, and education, with no steps back in the areas of contraception and abortion. The resulting declaration is therefore not regressive, even though it could have been stronger. It will hopefully serve as a reference statement which nongovernmental organizations will be able to cite when reminding countries of their obligations. Countries should get together to discuss the rising level of prostitution. The important roles of NGOs and French-country involvement were also recognized during the conference, as well as the priorities of education and funding.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SERVICES. 1991; 21(3):505-10.This article asks the reader to carefully consider the personal implications of AIDS were either he or close friends and relatives afflicted with the syndrome. We are urged to acknowledge the limited capabilities of personal and social response to the epidemic, and recognize the associated degree of social inequity and knowledge deficiency which exists. Summaries of 3 articles are discussed as highly integrated in their common call for global solidarity in the fight against HIV infections and AIDS. Pros and cons of Cuba's evolving response to AIDS are considered, paying attention to the country's recent abandonment of health policy which isolated those infected with HIV, in favor of renewed social integration of these individuals. Brazil's inadequate, untimely, and erred response to AIDS is then strongly criticized in the 2nd article summary. Finally, the 3rd article by Dr. Jonathan Mann, former head of the World Health Organization's Global program on AIDS, on AIDS prevention in the 1990s is discussed. Covering behavioral change and the critical role of political factors in AIDS prevention, Mann asserts the need to apply current concepts and strategies, while developing new ones, and to reassess values and concepts guiding work in the field. AIDS and its associated crises threaten the survival of humanity. It is not just a disease to be solved by information, but is intimately linked to issues of sexuality, health, and human behavior which are in turn shaped by social, political, economic, and cultural factors. Strong, concerted political resolve is essential in developing, implementing, and sustaining an action agenda against AIDS set by people with AIDS and those at risk of infection. Vision, resources, and leadership are called for in this war closely linked to the struggle for worldwide social justice.