Vienna RO Running Prestigious Side Event at UNGA

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 Aug 30, 2018

Less than two years after IOM joined the United Nations its Vienna Regional Office has been awarded the distinction of co-organizing a key side event at the next United Nations General Assembly.

The high-profile event will focus on HIV, TB and viral Hepatitis in Europe and Central Asia, and is being run with the support of the World Health Organization and the Government of Slovakia after extensive and fruitful negotiations. Regional Director Argentina Szabados will join a distinguished panel from the United Nations, European Commission, ministers from across the region and further afield to speak in front of heads of state, presidents and other crucial interlocutors.

“Despite having the fastest decline of TB rates among all regions, Europe and Central Asia still bear the highest proportion of multi drug-resistant TB globally and is the only region with an increasing number of new HIV infections”, noted Ms Szabados. “The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development commits us to ‘leaving no one behind’. That most certainly includes migrants who, whilst contributing to their sending and receiving societies, are very vulnerable  to these and other killer diseases for many reasons: access to healthcare, language issues, poor accommodation and other factors. This must be addressed.”

In addition to the worrying trends in HIV and MDR TB, Hepatitis B and C viruses are estimated to have infected chronically more than 15 million and 14 million people respectively in the region, most of whom - alarmingly - are unaware of their status. "This situation requires urgent action", said Ms Szabados. “We are delighted to be able to make our voice – and the voice of thousands of affected migrants – heard at the highest levels.”

The event takes place on the morning of Thursday, 27 September at Conference Room 5, UN Headquarters, New York.

Please refer to the UN common position paper on ending TB, HIV and viral hepatitis in Europe and central Asia through intersectoral collaboration