A three-year lobby by trade unions and civil society groups has yielded a renewed G8 commitment to universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care by 2010, said the Paris-based International Trade Union Confederation in a July 9 release.
The G8 countries also committed themselves to strengthening health systems and the creation of a follow-up mechanism to monitor G8 progress on HIV/AIDS, the ITUC said. They also will scale up programs to counter infectious diseases and improve access to essential medicines, vaccines and appropriate health-related products.
The recent G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, “promised to increase health workforce coverage to a WHO threshold of 2.3 health workers per 1000 people,” the ITUC said. “At the same time it urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to work on a voluntary code of practice regarding ethical recruitment of health workers, and called for establishing specific, country-led milestones for enhancing monitoring and evaluation.”
Under the Global Union AIDS Program (GUAP) unions all over the world lobbied G8 embassies and health, labour and environment ministers at the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other bodies.
Apart from public health concerns, the G8 did not fare well on other critical issues, such as the world economy, finance, corruption, climate change, African development and global food security.
See the full G8 assessment by the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD: http://www.tuac.org/en/public/e-docs/00/00/02/A9/document_doc.phtml