8 March 2016
South Africa will be hosting a series of important international conferences this year, the first being the 21st International Aids Conference, taking place over five days starting on 18 July, International Nelson Mandela Day.
Aids 2016, as the conference is known, is co-hosted with the International Aids Society (IAS), and will be held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.
“This is the second time that Durban will be hosting the International Aids Conference and marks a major milestone in the HIV response,” said Olive Shisana, the Aids 2016 local co-chair. “We want to create an enhanced conference experience for everyone involved.”
Aids 2016 is convened by five permanent partners: IAS, Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW), International Council of Aids Service Organisations (Icaso) and UNAids in collaboration with international and South African scientific and civil society partners. It is expected to convene over 18 000 delegates from around the world, including up to 1 000 journalists.
Watch Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa talk about the conference:
“This conference will provide a platform for researchers from across the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, to learn from one another’s expertise and to develop strategies for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV,” the Cabinet said.
Held under the theme Access Equity Rights Now, it will serve as a call to action to work together and reach people who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services.
The South Africa Cabinet said it would advance the country’s HIV and tuberculosis response, and leave an impact on one of the most important challenges in the world.
— AIDS 2016 (@AIDS_conference) March 7, 2016
The country will also host the 17th Conference of Parties (CoP17) to CITES at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 24 September to 5 October and the 35th International Geological Congress from 27 August to 4 September.
These conferences help to boost the country’s influence on global governance, as well as positively contribute to tourism and investment.