Mercosur News

Uruguay – MERCOSUR Agency – March 7th, 2008

Patricia Pérez, the regional secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW LATINA) visited Costa Rica yesterday to mark International Women’s Day.

She was welcomed yesterday afternoon at the Presidential House in San José by the President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1987) Oscar Arias to launch the global campaign “Peace as an Opportunity to Overcome AIDS” in which she coordinates and already put into action in Kenya, Honduras and Nicaragua in 2007.

The Costa Rican leader signed a leader addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, in which ICW asked the UN to declare 2011 as the “Year of Peace as an Opportunity to Overcome AIDS”.

Pérez will speak about the campaign to legislators and leaders of Costa Rica alongside the Vice President Laura Chinchilla, the national legislator Ana Elena Chacón, the Vice-Minister of Health, Lidieth Carbello and the co-chair of CONCASIDA2009, Ruth Linares from ICW Costa Rica.

“I leave this meeting with President Arias happy and full of hope that together, with the help of other Central American leaders we can use peace to build an effective social response so as to stop AIDS and fight for peace in our homes, countries, communities and in the entire world. This is ICW’s call to stop the disease from causing pain to individuals such as HIV-positive women, children and adolescents who are unprotected from the stigma and discrimination that usually comes with the disease and who mostly live in Latin America” said Perez.

“This is a historic moment in the fight against the AIDS epidemic as a President has never before committed to treating women living HIV so as to improve the overall response to the disease” concluded Pérez.

The President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Arias congratulated Pérez for her commitment to improving the dignity of HIV/AIDS-positive women and wished her good luck for her 2008 candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize. “AIDS is a human tragedy that jointly, we must eradicate” concluded the president, bidding farewell to his visitors.

Published Friday March 7th, 2008.