x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

East side stories: breakthrough on AIDS medicine pricing to be announced

Tidbits of news heard around the United Nations General Assembly in New York

The United Nations building in New York. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
The United Nations building in New York. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

- A pricing agreement for HIV medicine is to be announced today in New York, in a deal being hailed as a “breakthrough”. UNAIDS and partners will unveil a new cost mechanism for expanding access to high-quality medicines for people living with HIV in many of the low and middle-income countries most affected by the disease. The announcement is expected to accelerate treatment roll-out as part of global efforts to reach all 36.7 million people living with HIV with high-quality antiretroviral therapy.

- UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash met with Peter Maurer, the president of International Committee of the Red Cross on the sidelines of the General Assembly to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif did not attend American President Donald Trump's address to the UN on Tuesday - choosing to boycott the speech.

- Diplomatic sources in New York told The National that UN envoy to Syria Stefan de Mistura told a policy dinner in Manhattan that Syria is headed toward "soft partition", especially if the current battleground dynamic continues to hold until next year.

- After years sitting outside in a makeshift marquee, the UN media centre has moved inside the main UN building, as part of the extensive renovations for the building.

- 10.23-10.27. 4 minutes is all it took for US President Donald Trump's motorcade to get from the UN building to The Lotte New York Palace hotel on Monday. 3.3 miles that take regular cars over half an hour with road closures all around town - except for the most important of VIPs.

- Unlike previous UN General Assemblies in recent years, the US President will not be meeting his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun. Sources tell The National that the Lebanese delegation has not even confirmed a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr Aoun is a close ally of Hezbollah and his visit to New York comes at a time of escalatory rhetoric from the Trump administration vis a vis Tehran.