Oslo press event launches a spotlight on Africa

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Nelson Mandela calls on the world to provide global health leaders to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other deadly preventable diseases

Oslo, 9 June 2005 - "AIDS is a human rights issue," Says Nelson Mandela, calling on the world to provide global health leaders the means to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to fight HIV/AIDS and other deadly preventable diseases.

Nelson Mandela's 46664 arctic begins a coordinated international initiative to target the agenda of g8 with the power of music, calling for funds to save lives of people in poorest nations

Speakers from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, together with the largest international financiers of global health, will urge the G8 to provide new funds for healthcare systems strained by AIDS and preventable childhood diseases, and will release new data on the impact of effective disease-fighting strategies that can be scaled up to prevent millions of deaths every year. The June 9 press briefing in Oslo will set the stage for a series of activities, whose main focus is to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases, many of which can be prevented with vaccines. These activities will also raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation to dramatically reduce the deadly burden of preventable disease on the world's most vulnerable populations.

Led by the Nelson Mandela Foundation's Chief Executive, John Samuel, international leaders in global health will define progress in the fight against HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, and in immunizing the world's poorest children against preventable but deadly infectious diseases. With one voice, they will call on the G8 Leaders to commit to specific actions of support for Africa at their meeting in the UK in July. The events planned for 9-12 June include the 46664 Arctic-an AIDS awareness concert and part of the HIV/AIDS global awareness campaign named for Nelson Mandela's prison number; an international political rally; and a high-level panel featuring global health experts, two former presidents and a prime minister.

WHEN: Thursday, 9 June, 9:00 -10:00 a.m. in Oslo (9 a.m. Oslo/ 8 a.m. London/ 7 a.m. GMT)

WHERE: International Press Centre, Haakon VIIs gate 10, Oslo, Norway

WHO:

  • John Samuel, Chief Executive, Nelson Mandela Foundation
  • Richard Feachem, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
  • Tore Godal, Board Member, 46664 Arctic
  • Hilde Frafjord Johnson, Minister of Development Cooperation for Norway
  • Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Director and CEO, Global Alliance for Vaccines

and Immunization (GAVI) and The Vaccine Fund (VF)

  • Graça Machel, Chair of Board, The Vaccine Fund
  • Gerd-Liv Valla, President, Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions

"All of us are joined in a common goal," says Graça Machel, former minister of education in Mozambique and Chair of The Vaccine Fund, the financing arm of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. "We seek an end to the apartheid of health-more funding for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, the implementation of effective tools in controlling malaria, and widespread use of vaccines in overcoming childhood diseases."

Against the backdrop of rising death rates from preventable diseases that are killing more than seven million people every year, among them the children who die at the rate of one every three seconds, there is evidence that increased political will and funding can put success within reach. This has been demonstrated through the work of public-private partnerships such as the GAVI, and through the efforts of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Other events in Norway from 9-12 June include:

  • 11:00 a.m., Thursday, 9 June: Oslo Rally for Health in Africa, hosted by the Norwegian Labour Party and the Norwegian Trade Union Confederation
  • 7:00 p.m., Saturday, 11 June: The 46664 Arctic concert will be hosted by Nelson Mandela-in Norway to further his mass media campaign 46664. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is partnering with other organisations to use Mandela's presence to increase action on AIDS and to mobilise both the political leadership and the people of Scandinavia.
  • 4:00 p.m., Sunday, 12 June: 46664 Arctic Panel on Child Mortality and HIV/AIDS at the University of Tromsø.

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The Nelson Mandela Foundation ( www.nelsonmandela.org) was established in 1999 as the primary vehicle for Mr Mandela's continued pursuit of the ideals and goals he set while serving as South Africa's first democratically elected leader from 1994 - 1999. The Foundation follows the establishment of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund in 1995 which has as its purpose to nurture, motivate and care for the future of children and youth. The purpose of The Nelson Mandela Foundation is to lead and direct the development of a living legacy that captures the vision and values of Nelson Mandela's life and work, and through this contribute to the development of a just, peaceful and democratic world.

46664 ( www.46664.com) was Nelson Mandela's prison number on Robben Island, Cape Town, where he was held for 18 years. In November 2002 Mr Mandela gave this prison number to Dave Stewart of Eurythmics to be used in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Dave together with Brian May & Roger Taylor of Queen and Bono began to write music inspired by 46664. The result was the launch of the global 46664 campaign "Give 1 minute of your life to AIDS". 46664 Concerts have been staged in Cape Town (2003), George, South Africa (2005), Madrid (2005) and now Tromso.

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) ( www.vaccinealliance.org) is a public-private partnership focused on increasing access to vaccines among children in poor countries. Partners include national governments, UNICEF, WHO, The World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the vaccine industry, public health institutions, and NGOs. The Vaccine Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is the financing resource created to support the GAVI immunization goals, providing financial support directly to low-income countries to strengthen their health delivery and immunization services and to purchase new and under-used vaccines.

The Global Fund ( www.theglobalfund.org) is a unique global public-private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases.

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