The 10th International Conference on AIDS in ASIA and the Pacific will be held this weekend in Busan, running August 26th through the 30th at BEXCO in Haeundae. The theme of this edition of the biennial conference will be “Different Voices, United Action” with the intent on promoting diverse perspectives and uniting them into one voice for Asia and the Pacific rim.
While a wide range of issues will be discussed during the conference, the primary focus is to provide a platform for researchers, government policymakers, community advocates, and activists to share the latest developments and information concerning HIV and AIDS and its wide-ranging effects.
One focus of the conference will be attaining more financial support for battling AIDS in Asia and less dictates given by the donor countries to the recipient countries who are fighting it based on their own experiences in their own countries.
“There is one thing that almost everybody expresses frustrations about—the foreign aid," wrote Rameshore Prasad Khanal in Nepal’s Republica newspaper. "The recipient countries, while in a group or in a formal forum, grumble at the highhandedness of the aid-providing community. During one-to-one talks, rarely does a recipient country delegation dare to speak out and put the arguments straight about what they want.”
Cho Myung-hwan is a biotechnology professor of Konkuk University and is the head of the local organizing committee. He expressed concern for neighboring countries in their battle against AIDS.
“AIDS is not a big issue in South Korea yet, but it’s an issue that has great social, political and health implications for many countries in the world,” said Cho in an interview with The Korea Herald. “Around 25 million people already died of AIDS, and some 33 million people are estimated to be living with HIV, so the conference in Busan this week will help Korean people and participants from other countries join forces together to deal with the issues related to AIDS.”
The Korea Herald will publish the official daily conference newspaper, “ICAAP10 Herald,” which will be available online and in print at BEXCO.
Steve Kraus, regional director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team, Asia Pacific is optimistic about the coming conference.
“A great deal of political momentum has been built up in the past year and the 10th ICAAP provides us with an important regional platform to chart out the next steps to take forward these important committees and to forge partnerships,” said Kraus.
Zahid Hussein, President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific, feels that Korea can play a big part in the battle against AIDS and HIV in Asia.
"The Republic of Korea occupies a strategic place in the Asia and the Pacific region," said Hussein. "We want the 10th ICAAP in Busan to be a rallying point to the movement in the region. The 10th ICAAP will look forward to a renewed zeal among the civil society organisations in RoK so that they can integrate the LGBT groups, remove associated stigmas and further assure the human rights of sex workers. All progress, made in this regard, would have a torch bearer impact in the region."
For further information about the conference and related events, visit the official homepage at www.icaap10.org
• 17:00~19:00 / Friday, 26 August 2011
• Convention Hall 301, BEXCO
• 19:00-21:00 / Friday, 26 August 2011
• Exhibition Hall 1, BEXCO
• 10:30~11:30 / Tuesday, 30 August 2011
• Convention Hall 301, BEXCO