The Speech of the President of Kosovo, Prof.Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu on the occasion of World AIDS Day.

1 December 2006 Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr. Haziri, Honorable representatives of UNMIK, liaison offices, doctors and other participants of this convention We have gathered here today on the occasion of World AIDS day, this mortal disease of the century, which has not spared our country either.

This year’s motto for the World AIDS day, “Stop AIDS – Keep the Promise” is a call for all of us: the Government, political decision makers, local and central health institutions, educational institutions and the citizens, to undertake responsible steps for preventing, stopping and fighting HIV and AIDS.

This is a common voice against the plague of the century which is threatening the people, the women and children in the entire continent and all over the world.

Today we together express our sadness and concern for over 40 million people all over the world who have been touched by this disease, including 2.3 million children.

At the same time we express our concern for tens of people in Kosovo who have been touched by the HIV virus and for the permanent threat that this disease poses for the human kind, especially the youth.

Therefore, we are using the opportunity on this day to remind ourselves and the others that HIV has not left our country either, but it is here, and we need to do a lot to face it and to prevent its dangers and its consequences.

We are aware that this battle is not easy and simple; it requires a more efficient health system and a stronger commitment of the educational system, effective actions from the law enforcement agencies, preparation of a legal framework and ensuring an effective implementation of laws as well as a quality and active role of the civil society.

In his message for the World AIDS Day, the Secretary General of the United Nations rightly concluded that the responsibility for eliminating this disease does not only lie with the responsible institutions. In order to be more effective, the responsibility should be taken by all of us: institutional representatives, political leaders, business leaders, medical staff, schools, the community, families, parents, the youth, and the entire society.

Our mission and commitment is not only limited to this date. We are all responsible to work each year and every day until we eliminate this widespread disease and avoid its danger towards the humanity.

We hope that the independence of our country, the transfer and the clear delivery of competencies will help us in the years to come to be a strong support to the worldwide commitment for eliminating AIDS.

I finally thank all the medical staff and all the institutions and the people who have engaged during all these years with a strong commitment and responsibility for reducing the consequences of AIDS in Kosova.