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Call for G8 HIV/AIDS permanent working group

Global Unions have recently launched a G8 HIV/AIDS Campaign as part of the 28 April “International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured Workers”. This campaign aims at convincing the Heads of State at next July’s G8 Summit in Russia to create a permanent high-level G8 working group on HIV/AIDS.

EI is one of the ten Global Union Federations (GUFs) representing the different sectors of industry or employment. Global Unions comprise also the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee at the OECD. Last July, G8 leaders called for a mechanism to ensure progress on development issues from one Summit to the next, including universal access to HIV treatment through strengthening health care capacity and reducing the price of drugs and testing. We take the view that the role of a permanent working group should be to monitor and evaluate progress on commitments made by the G8. The Global Unions campaign wants G8 countries to honour commitments to deal with the damage HIV/AIDS has caused to health and education sectors, to provide for a considerable increase in resources for health care workers and health services as a whole and to ensure proper prevention and treatment programmes. For a successful campaign we need your help: we ask you to adapt the draft letter below and send it to your Head of State (or appropriate office) as soon as possible. Please let us know if your organisation has taken this action by contacting us at efaids@ei-ie.org. Your help in carrying out this task now, when combined with other 28 April activities, will go a long way towards ensuring that HIV/AIDS is taken seriously by the world’s richest countries. Once we have heard from you, we will issue a short press release that you can, in turn, post as a follow-up or distribute to your members. We look forward to a successful campaign. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- [Your organisation’s letterhead] Date [Name of your Head of State] [Position - President or Prime Minister] Government of [Country] Full Mailing Address Dear Mr. President [or appropriate greeting] Re: Creation of High-Level Permanent G-8 Working Group on HIV-AIDS Around the world today, workers, along with millions more from many other sectors of society, are dying due to HIV/AIDS. Trade unions, employers and governments have grounds for concern about the negative impact this has on the fabric of society and the serious long term implications for future economic and social development. The [your organisation name] is joining the international trade union movement to call for our country, as a G-8 member, to support the establishment of a permanent high-level working group on HIV/AIDS at next July’s G8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. Such a working group on HIV/AIDS is needed to guarantee progress further to the promises made by [name your Country] and other countries at the Gleneagles G-8 Summit last year to achieve Universal Access to Treatment by 2010 and to develop a vaccine that will prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. We call upon you to do your part to keep these promises and to implement the previous G-8 commitments on HIV/AIDS! The UN “Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS”, signed by the G-8 countries as well as many others, promised a dedicated focus on HIV/AIDS. In so doing, you as our representatives agreed to time-bound commitments that ensure that progress be made on one of the most serious global health threats ever known to our civilisation. This permanent working group on HIV/AIDS is essential to ensure continuity, maintain momentum, and support progress by continuing to refine G-8 policies on HIV/AIDS from year to year and drawing upon lessons learned. By mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into the G-8 process through such a working group, the goal of attaining universal access will be closer to achievement. We would appreciate hearing from you on this issue and being kept informed of your deliberations within the G8 for the upcoming Summit. Yours sincerely, [Your signature] [Your name] [Your position and organisation name]

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efaids@ei-ie.org