The Delhi declaration

Parliamentariansí Commitment Towards A World Without AIDS, 11-12 May 2002.

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Parliamentarians attending the above two-day international conference on HIV/AIDS organised by IAVI along with NACO and the ICMR adopted the Delhi Declaration. The idea of the conference grew out of the compulsion to mobilise political support for the battle against HIV/AIDS. Political will and commitment is essential for a successful, multi-pronged national response to prevention, treatment, care and related stigma. In addition to Indian participants, international delegates were invited from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Thailand, Nepal, China and Brazil.

The presence of high-level political persons including the prime minister, leader of the opposition, union health minister and three state chief ministers cutting across party lines demonstrated collective will on part of policy-makers to address HIV/AIDS in a meaningful manner. The stakeholders jointly laid down the framework for prevention and care strategies based on recommendations emanating from the various sessions. The conference saw parliamentarians committing to strive for a world without AIDS. The Delhi Declaration enumerates these commitments to address the complexities and challenges presented by the epidemic as well as outlines concrete guidelines and steps for the government and community action on HIV/AIDS and related issues.

THE HIV/AIDS epidemic constitutes a global health emergency of unprecedented magnitude that impacts economic and social development worldwide and in particular the developing world. To combat this global tragedy, a comprehensive strategy is needed to focus on issues including health care, prevention, support, and treatment within a legal framework designed to protect human rights. With 15,000 new HIV infections daily, there is no time to delay.

We, the undersigned, pledge to provide leadership and take concrete action to address the complexities and challenges presented by the epidemic, building on the UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and other international, regional, and national agreements.

We pledge to actively involve affected communities, including organisations of people living with HIV/AIDS in policy formulation and implementation.

We pledge to inform, educate, communicate and develop strategies, working closely with affected communities, to promote effective AIDS prevention initiatives.

We pledge to identify and begin to address those factors that make individuals particularly vulnerable to HIV infection, including underdevelopment, poverty, literacy lack of empowerment of women and all types of sexual exploitation.

We pledge to promote social acceptance and respect for the dignity and rights of all people affected by HIV/AIDS and to oppose all forms of stigma and discrimination.

We pledge to make every effort to provide progressively and in a sustainable manner, the highest attainable standard of treatment and care to people living with HIV/AIDS.

We pledge to support research and development of AIDS vaccines and other prevention technologies, keeping in mind the pressing needs of the developing world.

We pledge to support the acceleration of scientific progress, adhering to the highest ethical standards in the research, development, delivery and use of prevention technologies.

We pledge to work to build infrastructure and take other measures to ensure access to and effective use of affordable, life-saving AIDS treatment and future AIDS vaccines when they become available.

We pledge to create an enabling environment and build capacity among policy-makers in our respective countries, and in particular, seek to strength legislation and regulatory systems and procedures.

We pledge as members of a global community, to strive for equitable distribution of essential resources needed to control the AIDS epidemic and to enhance the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS.

We pledge to mobilize political commitment with peoplesí representatives to propel a comprehensive response at national, regional and global levels.

We pledge to promote collaborative efforts among governments, peoplesí representatives, private industry, international agencies and non-governments made in this Declaration.

We pledge to put in place ongoing mechanisms for the implementation, monitoring, and review of the Delhi Declaration.


* The Declaration was issued at the International Policy-makers Conference on HIV/AIDS, May 2002 in New Delhi.