UNITED NATIONS, June 10 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed on Tuesday for an end to the discrimination against HIV-infected people, calling it "an affront to our common humanity."
Six decades after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "it is shocking that there should still be discrimination against those at high risk, such stigma attached to individuals living with HIV," Ban told a high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS which opened Tuesday at the General Assembly.
"This not only drives the virus underground, where it can spread in the dark; as important, it is an affront to our common humanity," he said.
Citing his meetings with the UN's group of HIV-positive staff, UN Plus, the UN chief described such encounters as "one of my most moving experiences as secretary-general."
"They are wonderfully courageous and motivated people," he said. "I am determined to make the UN a model workplace in embracing them, and all our staff living with HIV."
Ban also called on the international community to change laws that "uphold stigma and discrimination - including restrictions on travel for people living with HIV."
The United Nations began on Tuesday the two-day high-level event to review progress made in implementing the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.