St. Maarten Prime Minister attends event honoring Bill GatesPOSTED: 07/24/12 12:55 PM
Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams (fifth right) stands with nine of the other delegation members to the 19th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) currently being held in Washington DC. (PR MINPRESSXM Photo)
WASHINGTON D.C/ST. MAARTEN – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams arrived in the United States on Friday heading the eleven member St. Maarten Delegation to the 19th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) currently being held in Washington DC. During the conference the prime minister will be chairing the session on addressing HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination with the aim of changing the effects of HIV stigma within local communities. The prime minister will also be a featured speaker at the Regional Session: Sustainable Development and HIV – A Caribbean Agenda. The St. Maarten delegation will also be giving a poster presentation entitled “Safe Secrets”. St. Maarten’s presentation was chosen out of thousands of submissions requesting space to present at the conference.
Wescot-Williams has already attended a ceremony to honor world renowned philanthropist Bill Gates at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. Gates was honored for his courage in investing in many organizations committed to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The event was organized by the foundation for HIV Research AmfAR and GBC Health, which is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to supporting HIV research, HIV prevention, education and advocacy under the theme “Together to End Aids”. GBCHealth is a coalition of more than 200 member companies and organizations committed to investing resources to make a healthier world. Other influential persons who attended the benefit in the fight against the pandemic were AmfAR’s Chairman Kenneth Cole; MAC AIDS Fund’s Chairman John Demsey; Recording artist and spoke person for MAC cosmetics Eve; actor, activist and humanitarian Sharon Stone; House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibe; and CEO GBCHealth John Tedstrom.
The International AIDS Conference is the largest international meeting on a single health related issue. Every two years 20,000 participants representing all stakeholders in the global response to HIV meet to assess progress and identify future priorities. AIDS 2012 is the single most widely covered HIV event in the world and is organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS) in partnership with a number of international and local partners. The conference theme, “Turning the Tide Together”, emphasizes that the HIV epidemic has reached a defining moment and that by acting decisively on recent scientific advances in HIV treatment and biomedical prevention, the hope for a cure and the continuing evidence of the ability to scale-up key interventions in the most-needed settings there is now the potential to end the HIV epidemic.