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Time to Deliver: The 2006 International AIDS Conference
By: Joanne Alfano
Date: 2006-08-22 15:43:05
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Photos: by T1000

The week-long International AIDS Conference, held at the Rogers Centre on Sunday August 13, featured a ’two event special’ in one evening. Participants from around the globe gathered in Toronto as the Concert launched the beginning to HIV/Aids awareness.

The opening session included welcome remarks by Aboriginal, National, Provincial and city government officials from Canada, as well as plenary addresses by Frika Chia Iskandar, a young Indonesian woman living with HIV/Aids and UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot. Her Excellency, Michelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario and David Miller, Mayor of Toronto all contributed to a ’fund-ful’ evening. The opening programme concluded with a keynote address by Bill and Melinda Gates, Co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Other participants attending the concert comprised of former President Bill Clinton and Mary Robinson, Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, actor Richard Gere and Television star Olympia Dukakis. Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman with musicians from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra had also partaken in the function.

The opening programme concluded with a keynote address by Bill and Melinda Gates, Co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Perhaps, the most preferred interest of the night which began at 9p.m was when top-name artists like Alicia Keys, Chantel Kreviazuk, The Bare naked Ladies, Our Lady Peace, Amanda Marshall, Thomas Mapfumo from Zimbabwe, the Red Spirit Singers and Dancers, Massari, Blue Man Group and Dee-Jay Tiesto from The Netherlands played melodious songs.

The United Nations (An international organization composed of most of the countries of the world. It was founded in 1945 to promote peace, security, and economic development) estimates that there are approximately 40 million people infected with HIV/Aids in the world, with more than 25 million of those in Africa.

Aids has undoubtedly become a pandemic illness hence the urgency for effective prevention, treatment and care to communities throughout the world. "This conference is a tremendous opportunity to share knowledge and develop new strategies to prevent infection and prolong life for people living with HIV/AIDS," said Dr. Mark Wainberg, Chair of the AIDS 2006 Toronto Local Host.

"The conference organizers are extremely grateful for all the speakers, performers and other participants who have agreed to lend their voices and mobilize action in support of our conference theme, Time to Deliver."
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