HIV/AIDS in Europe
A future for HIV/AIDS children and AIDS orphans
The spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to women and girls in Europe
Parliamentary Assembly - 25 January 2007
THE PRESIDENT. – I call Mr Platvoet on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.
Mr PLATVOET (Netherlands). – As the three reports show, after twenty-five years, AIDS is still a huge threat to individual and public health. In some western countries, such as my country, the Netherlands, there is a kind of satisfaction, because some success has been achieved in combating this disease, but that should not lead to AIDS fatigue. As the report introduced by Mrs McCafferty points out, that is not an option.
Globalisation affects human relations, and it is in our interests to combat the disease worldwide. The report introduced by Mrs Fautrier rightly states that the empowerment of girls and women is key in the fight against HIV/AIDS.I hope that her proposals are taken seriously by member states. As Mr Hammarberg said, a follow-up and monitoring system is needed. Mr Hancock’s report also contains good proposals that are more concrete, especially in a medical context.
Why do we need to have three reports? After three years, I am wondering why it is not possible to beat the bureaucratic barriers within this Organisation and to have just one integrated report instead.
Mr Hancock pays much attention to Africa, because the situation on that continent is terrible, especially for children. However, I was astonished that a liberal man such as him pays no attention to the role of the Roman Catholic Church, especially on this continent. We all know that cultural traditions and habits can have a negative influence in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, as do the stupid opinions of some politicians, especially in South Africa. The policy of the Vatican is also a real obstacle to progress. I know that other voices are heard within the Roman Catholic Church. Abbé Pierre, who passed away this week, once said that to have various sexual relations is a big sin but the use of a condom is a much smaller sin. Those are wise words. When the Bishop of Rome attends the Assembly – I know that that is one of the great wishes of our President – if I am still here I will confront him with that quote and be curious about what he has to say in response.