Media execs join forces to fight aids at Miptv

MUMBAI: At the invitation of UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, CEOs from leading international media companies will meet in Cannes, France, as a part of the UN-backed Global Media Aids Initiative (GMAI).

The high-level event will take place on 12 April during the television market Miptv featuring Milia..

The gathering comes 15 months after the Secretary-General brought together 22 media leaders at United Nations Headquarters in New York to focus attention on how their companies could contribute to the fight against AIDS..

The January 2004 meeting saw the attending executives pledge their companies commitment and resources to raising public awareness and understanding about HIV/Aids. At the upcoming event,a score of new members will join the founders as the Initiative charts its future course.

According to Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organisation, as many as two thirds of the 45 million new HIV infections projected to occur worldwide over the next decade could be averted with more effective prevention and public education efforts.

Annan says, "Television is an unparalleled medium for reaching people around the world, especially young people, who have a vital part to play in halting the spread of the epidemic. The commitment of media groups to joining the fight against HIV/AIDS is, therefore, of paramount importance. By bringing industry leaders together at Miptv Featuring Milia, we can highlight the achievements of the Global Media Aids Initiative, share new ideas and strategies for programming, and start transforming the Initiative into a truly global movement."

This year the UN will have its largest representation ever at Miptv with 10 UN agencies participating. The Miptv Featuring Milia event will also feature a session where international television producers will be invited to pitch Aids programming to a panel of selected broadcasters. They will then commission the two winners and provide development funding.

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