6 Mar 2012

UNDP administrator says strong leadership critical for Pacific in fighting HIV/AIDS

1:43 pm on 6 March 2012

The administrator of the United Nations Development Programme says strong leadership is critical for Pacific Island nations in combating HIV/AIDS.

Helen Clark, who is a former New Zealand Prime Minister, has been in Wellington to discuss the UNDP's work in tackling the epidemic.

She says more awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific and support for leaders are vital.

"Support for countries to develop very good strategies, action plans and implement them. And one of the most critical things with HIV is leadership. You need people from your prime ministers and presidents down taking up this issue and really leading on it and being prepared to tackle the hard issues and stare down people who don't want to deal with some of the issues which are uncomfortable."

Helen Clark says the likelihood of a cut in Global Fund money for fighting HIV/AIDS in the Pacific also needs to be addressed.