World lacks political will to fight AIDS: Annan
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World lacks political will to fight AIDS: Annan

World is lacking political will to fight AIDS, Annan

india Updated: Dec 13, 2003 12:47 IST

The AIDS pandemic has become one of the world's biggest security threats, along with terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Friday.

In an interview with the BBC, Annan said he particuarly regretted the lack of political will to fight it the disease. "It is a security problem and it's not just in Africa," where most of the 28 million deaths from AIDS have occurred so far, Annan said.

"It's spreading very fast in Asia, in Eastern Europe and in the Caribbean and even in this country it's on the way up", Annan said in his office at the United Nations in New York. Calling AIDS "a weapon of mass destruction," the UN chief blamed world leaders for not giving enough funds and attention to the problem.

"I feel angry, I feel distressed, I feel helpless and I also feel that, to live in a world where we have the means, we have the resources to be able to help all these patients, what is lacking is the political will", Annan said.

Some 40 million people around the world are infected with HIV/AIDS and of these, 2.5 million are children, figures from most recent report by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization showed. The report was released ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1. The report put the number of new infections at five million. It also estimated that three million people would died from the disease this year.

First Published: Dec 04, 2003 14:27 IST