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AFT Resolutions

HELPING OUR AFRICAN COLLEAGUES IN THEIR HEROIC STRUGGLE AGAINST THE AIDS PLAGUE

WHEREAS, the AIDS/HIV disease continues its deadly assault throughout the African continent; and

WHEREAS, African countries continue to need and seek American/European assistance in their heroic struggle to prevent, curb and treat this insidious killer of young and old, male and female; and

WHEREAS, AFT has already begun programs to reach out and help our African brothers and sisters who are working daily to help fight this horrendous AIDS epidemic; and

WHEREAS, the teaching profession in many parts of Africa has been decimated by the spread of AIDS and the HIV virus; and

WHEREAS, African educators and health professionals are already engaged in strenuous efforts to educate young people about the causes and prevention of AIDS; and

WHEREAS, African union members have asked for, and welcomed, assistance from American teachers and health professionals in their efforts to overcome widespread irrational fears about contacts with persons suffering from AIDS; and

WHEREAS, African educators have a terrible burden of leadership in spreading the word about prevention and treatment and seeking adequate funds for research and treatment of AIDS; and

WHEREAS, 55 percent of AIDS/HIV in Africa are women desperately trying to raise and protect their families; and

WHEREAS, significant progress has been made in African countries that have adopted aggressive and progressive educational campaigns about prevention of AIDS; and

WHEREAS, breakthroughs in research have recently occurred that, if made available in Africa, could significantly reduce the dramatic death rate among young males and among women; and

WHEREAS, a long history of oppression and discrimination by European colonial powers and the continuing policies of transnational corporations and the World Bank have gravely weakened Africa's capacity to rapidly develop the technological, educational and medical infrastructure necessary to wage a successful war on AIDS; and

WHEREAS, the United States is already contributing significant funds to help Africa curb the AIDS plague:

RESOLVED, that the AFT, with support from the AFL-CIO, continue and strengthen its campaign to help African educators improve their ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of AIDS; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT's International Affairs Department continue its efforts to educate the public about the AIDS catastrophe in Africa; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and its affiliates urge the U.S. government to continue its support to African countries who are aggressively pursuing the campaign against AIDS; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and AFL-CIO lobby the U.S. government to increase financial, technological and medical support for African professionals who are overwhelmed in the struggle against this disease; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and AFL-CIO urge the various government agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, to vigorously lobby and pressure the European Economic Community to match or exceed targeted American foreign aid to African countries; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and its affiliates lobby aggressively with Congress and the executive branch to lobby the International Monetary Fund and the members of G*8 to develop a plan (on the scale of the post-World War II Marshall Plan) to help Africa recruit and train the massive number of health professionals needed in the war against AIDS and to help African nations build the hospitals, schools, clinics and hospice centers needed to control the spread and mitigate the effects of this insidious disease; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT lobby the U.S. government to have the major pharmaceutical companies in Europe and in the United States improve and expand distribution of AIDS treatment drugs in Africa at reasonable costs; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT urge the U.S. government to improve and expand its already considerable funding for research focused on treatment and possible cures for AIDS so that the Global Village can benefit from the American's "cutting-edge" research institutions; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT work with its national, European and Asian affiliates to promote the idea of medical scholarships for professionals willing to devote time, energy and talent in the effort to control and ultimately defeat the AIDS epidemic that has wrought so much tragedy on humanity; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT delegates present at this convention recognize and salute the heroic work being done every day by our African colleagues as they explore myths, promote rationality and instill hope in the long struggle against AIDS/HIV infections.


(2002)