Top UN officials kick off highlevel meeting with call to action to

8 June 2011Top United Nations officials today issued a call to action to end AIDS, stressing the need for a broad partnership among governments, the private sector and civil society to combat an epidemic that is still wreaking havoc 30 years after the first case was reported. Top United Nations officials today issued a call to action to end AIDS, stressing the need for a broad partnership among governments, the private sector and civil society to combat an epidemic that is still wreaking havoc 30 years after the first case was reported. “We have reached a critical moment in time,” General Assembly President Joseph Deiss said at the start of the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, which brings together some 30 heads of State and government, along with senior officials, representatives of international organizations, civil society and people living with HIV.“This High-level Meeting is a unique opportunity to reiterate our collective commitment and to step up our campaign against AIDS,” he stated. Member States are expected to adopt a new declaration at the end of the three-day meeting that will reaffirm current commitments and commit to actions which will shape the future of the AIDS response 30 years into the epidemic and 10 years since the Assembly’s Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001.During the past three decades, more than 60 million people have been infected, at least 25 million people have died and more than 16 million children have been orphaned by AIDS.“I believe that if we are to succeed, it is essential for our actions to be based on a broad partnership in which governments, the private sector and civil society join forces and, together, play a greater governance role in efforts to combat the virus,” said Mr. Deiss.He noted that the stigmatization of and discrimination against persons living with the virus and vulnerable groups far too often continue to present a major obstacle to any open debate on AIDS-related issues and hinder progress. “Universal access implies social justice and social inclusion. Persons living with the virus must be stakeholders in every aspect of our effort. Their experiences and their stories are essential in developing an effective strategy for combating the epidemic.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that from its birth, the campaign against AIDS was much more than a battle against disease. “It was a cry for human rights. It was a call for gender equality. It was a fight to end discrimination based on sexual orientation. And it was a demand for the equal treatment of all people,” he told the meeting. He added that today’s “historic” meeting is a call to action for all partners to come together in global solidarity as never before. “That is the only way to truly provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care by 2015,” he said.It is also necessary to lower costs and deliver better programmes; commit to accountability; ensure that HIV responses promote the health, human rights, security and dignity of women and girls; and trigger a “prevention revolution,” harnessing the power of youth and new communications technology to reach the entire world.“If we take these five steps, we can stop AIDS. We can end the fear. We can stop the suffering and death it brings. We can get to an AIDS-free world.”The Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibé, highlighted the collective achievements of the international community over the past 30 years while also noting that now is not the time to be complacent. “AIDS remains a critical challenge of our era,” he said, stressing the need to agree on a “transformational” agenda that will end the epidemic and achieve the common vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.This vision will become a reality, said Mr. Sidibé, if the world can revolutionize HIV prevention and mobilize young people as agents of change; scale up universal access to treatment and services; break the trajectory of treatment costs; promote innovation, technology transfer and country ownership; stop violence against women and girls; and open a frank discussion about intergenerational sex and concurrent partnership. Turning the vision into reality will also require that the vulnerable populations most affected by the epidemic – migrants, people who inject drugs, sex workers, and men who have sex with men – do not face discrimination and have access to life-saving services, he added. read more

Legal advice sought to take action on illegal spas

According to the Health Ministry only four spas have been given approval to operate in the Maharagama area. It has also been found that 300 such spas are operating in the Maharagama area alone. Legal advice has been sought to take action on illegal spas operating in the country, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said.The Health Ministry said that there are several illegal spas operating in the country using false or forged certificates. As a result the advice of the Attorney General is to be sought to remove the illegal spas. (Colombo Gazette) The Police, Ayurveda Department and Maharagama Urban Council conducted investigations on the illegal spas operating in Maharagama.However some shortcomings in the law prevented the authorities from removing the illegal spas.

Komatsu buys MineWare dragline and shovel monitoring company

first_imgMineWare, a spin-off company of Mining3 (formerly CRCMining), and global leader in advanced dragline and shovel monitoring technologies has been acquired by Komatsu. MineWare was established in 2005 out of the Mining3 research program which produced the Universal Dig and Dump (UDD) technology. Developed in conjunction with the University of Queensland’s Mining and Mechanical Engineering School, UDD’s innovative rigging and control system technology represented the first major change in dragline technology for decades and offered massive step-change performance improvements.From that initial inception, MineWare developed their core technologies into market leading products. They include the Pegasys dragline monitor, Argus rope shovel and hydraulic excavator performance monitoring systems, and the dragline DTM technology. Kevin Greenwood, COO of Mining3, and outgoing Director of MineWare said, “MineWare is a genuine success story for Australian mining research; ideas germinated via university research, supported by the mining industry, and successfully commercialised into a global business.”“We believe the acquisition is positive on all levels. It will enhance MineWare’s global reach and provide improved integration capability with other mining technologies, enabling the business to grow more sustainably. Komatsu will add world-leading technology to its product range and have the capability to expand on MineWare’s offerings utilising their advanced development team. Mining companies will benefit through MineWare’s improved reach, and capability to deliver and support its products globally. From an Australian perspective, this acquisition demonstrates a commitment by Komatsu to significant ongoing mining technology development within Australia, further strengthening our global leadership in the Mining Equipment, Technology, and Services (METS) space.”MineWare stated it was business as usual but with the benefit of Komatsu’s backing and reach. “MineWare will work with their existing partners and continue to deliver products for incorporation into mining equipment sold by all leading manufacturers.” MineWare’s CEO, Andrew Jessett, will continue in his current capacity under Komatsu’s ownership, however, Mining3 ceases to have MineWare board representation and any direct involvement in its business operations.Komatsu is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of mining and earthmoving equipment and is a member of Mining3. Mining3 is an industry-led research organisation focused on delivering innovation to the global mining industry. Incorporating researchers from major universities and research organisations, Mining3 works with mining companies to develop and deliver transformational technology. Having formed numerous spin-off companies and technologies that are being utilised in the mining industry, Mining3 believes that it is successfully closing the gap between research and industry.last_img read more