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AIDS 2002 / Former Presidents - 2002-05-29

Former South African President Nelson Mandela and former US President Clinton will address the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain. The conference – known as AIDS 2002 – gets underway July 7th.

According to conference chairman – Dr. Jordi Casabona – the former presidents will speak at the closing ceremonies.

"In the case of Nelson Mandela, he is already committed to the fight against this epidemic. And also we like the idea very much because he addressed the closing ceremony at latest international AIDS conference (2000) in Durban. So, it’s a good link to the previous conference."

Mr. Mandela will present a speech entitled: “Care, Support and Destigmatization.”

Former President Clinton will serve a dual role at the Barcelona conference. He, too, will speak at the closing ceremonies. But he will also chair a discussion of HIV/AIDS by former heads of state.

Dr. Casbona says, "Mr. Clinton will be moderating that session. So, the idea is that he will address the summary or conclusions of that session."

Mr. Clinton, the advisory board chair of the organization, the International AIDS Trust, will deliver a speech called “Action Against AIDS: For the Global Good.”

The theme of the 14th International AIDS Conference is “Knowledge and Commitment for Action.” Organizers say the goal is to highlight interaction between scientists, health care workers, activists and people living with the AIDS virus, HIV.