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Posts Tagged ‘Archbishop Desmond Tutu’

As policy-makers, scientists, and persons living with HIV/AIDS convene this week at the International AIDS Conference, some are taking a closer look at AIDS policy in the United States. Since 2004, when President George W. Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program (PEPFAR), the US has spent $19 billion to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. These funds have provided 2.5 million Africans with anti-retroviral treatment and have contributed to the decline in new infections. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in Tuesday’s New York Times opinion section, argues that President Obama is not living up to his campaign pledge to increase PEPFAR’s budget, nor is he doing well by other disease prevention programs. Read his full opinion here.

Learn more about the Obama administration’s AIDS prevention and treatment efforts on Wednesday, July 28 when the Council hosts Ambassador Eric Goosby, US Global AIDS Coordinator. Register for the program here.

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President Obama will present the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to 16 recipients tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12. Three of this year’s awardees were speakers at the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum in 2008: former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Yunus.

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Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party MDC, announced today that he will join President Mugabe in a power-sharing deal drafted in September. This comes after months of deadlock, and while there is much celebration, many are worried that the deal was signed too hastily without sufficient certainty in its terms. An AllAfrica article today quotes an MDC Member of Parliament saying, “His [Tsvangirai’s] own political future will be compromised. ZANU-PF will use Tsvangirai to resuscitate their party: if people say they’re hungry – blame it on Tsvangirai. He came in promising change, and he won’t be able to deliver. If he says his hands are tied, people will say, ‘Why did you go in knowing your hands would be tied?'”

According to the NY Times, the opposition voted unanimously for joining the power-sharing agreement, and many are celebrating the end to the stalemate – though it remains to be seen if the deal will bring positive change. Western governments may maintain their sanctions, despite the growing toll on the country’s population from rampant hunger and a raging cholera epidemic, until President Mugabe shows himself to be true to his word.

Watch Jane Wales discuss the situation in Zimbabwe with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gareth Evans, and Helene Gayle last April at GPF. And read our previous posts on Zimbabwe here and here.

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