HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2012•11•01    15:00 - 17:00

    UNU Interactive Seminar on Global Issues XVI: “HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa”

    Throughout recorded history, communicable diseases have devastated armies and weakened the capacity of state institutions to perform core security functions. The contemporary “securitization” of HIV/AIDS discourse is reminiscent of the age-old historical links of disease and security. This discourse has compelled many African countries to initiate policies aimed at addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS on their security sectors: the armed forces, police, and prisons. These policies address a range of issues: the role of peacekeepers in the spread or control of HIV, public health (the need to control HIV) versus human rights (the right not to subject anybody to compulsory/mandatory medical testing without their consent) dilemmas, the gender dimensions of HIV in the armed forces and the impact of HIV on the police and prisons.

    This seminar wll feature a lecture by Dr. Obijiofor Aginam, Senior Academic Programme Officer and Head of Section for International Cooperation and Development, UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP), and Adjunct Research Professor of Law, Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada).

    Dr. Aginam is co-editor of the recently published UNU Press book HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa. He will discuss the dynamics of how the security sector of selected African states has responded, or is currently responding, to the complex and multifaceted challenges of HIV/AIDS. Using historical and policy analytical frameworks, he will address such questions as:

    • What are the links between HIV/AIDS and security?
    • In what ways does HIV/AIDS impact on UN peacekeeping operations and vice versa?
    • What are the impacts of HIV/AIDS on the broader security sector in Africa: police and prisons?
    • How best would human rights principles and norms be used to address the stigmatization of HIV/AIDS?
    • How could national military policies that require mandatory HIV/AIDS screening for armed forces personnel before peacekeeping operations be aligned with UNAIDS and DPKO guidelines on voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV?
    • How best should gender issues, especially victims of rape and HIV as a weapon of war, be effectively addressed in post-conflict reconstruction?

    The presentation will be followed by discussant comments by Ambassador Mohau Pheko,  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Africa to Japan.

    The seminar will conclude with a general discussion among the participants and audience, followed by a reception.

    Click on the RELATED FILES tab to download the event programme.

    Attendance is free, but advance registration (by 31 October) is required. To register to attend, please click on the REGISTER button above.

  • HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa Programme

    HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa Programme (36.6 KB PDF)


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