The UN General Assembly held a High-level Meeting on 10 – 11 June 2008 to review progress achieved in realizing the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. The meeting was attended by several Heads of State and Government, over 60 ministers as well as senior officials, representatives of international organisations and civil society.

The delegation of Sri Lanka to this High-level Meeting was led by the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala de Silva and included representatives from the private sector and civil society. Participating in the General Debate of the High-level Meeting, the Minister highlighted the progress achieved in Sri Lanka in combating HIV/AIDS. The Minister stated that strong commitment at the highest political level, combined with long standing social policies such as free education and free healthcare for all citizens which has resulted in a highly literate population has helped in containing HIV/AIDS incidence in Sri Lanka.

The Minister also chaired a Panel Discussion on the theme “How do we build on results achieved and speed up progress towards Universal Access – moving on to 2015 in order to reach Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”. The Panel reflected on progress made towards Universal Access and the actions required to speed up progress towards Universal Access by 2010 in order to reach the MDGs in 2015.

The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, presided over several plenary meetings of the High-level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, and also chaired the Civil Society Interactive Hearing, following remarks from the President of the General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim and UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. Civil society speakers at this Session presented their personal experiences, and addressed challenging issues underlying the spread of the epidemic. 
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