World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)

26 October 2006

Letter to H.E. Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, 26
October, 2006


Your Excellency,

The World Council of Churches, over the years, has been steadfast in its commitment
to respond to HIV and AIDS and has promoted a holistic approach in
addressing the pandemic. It has encouraged in its member churches and the wider
society a climate of sensitive, factual and open exploration of the ethical issues
posed by the pandemic.

The Council is encouraged by the South African government's recent decision
to appoint the Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to lead the South
African National AIDS Council (SANAC). The revival of SANAC to improve
communication and coordination, monitor implementation and government interaction
with various stake-holders to strengthen partnership is a vital step forward
to overcome HIV and AIDS.

We are certain that, despite differences, the cooperation between civil society
and the inter-ministerial committee on HIV and AIDS will bring the government,
the private sector and the civil society together to develop and enhance the
country's capacity to respond to the pandemic.

The scourge of the pandemic requires the combined efforts of all sectors of the
society if the government is to succeed in overcoming the challenges that accompany
HIV and AIDS. It is the first time ever that the world possesses the means
to reverse the global epidemic. However, success will require complete willingness
on the part of all actors engaged in the global response to fulfill their potential,
to adopt new ways of working with each other and be committed to sustaining
the response over the longer term.

The prayers of the members of the World Council of Churches are with you
and with the National Civil Society HIV and AIDS Prevention and Treatment
Congress - "Building Solidarity: An Action Plan to Save Lives" as it begins its
deliberations this week. We are certain it will prove to be an important step forward
in the prevention, care and treatment of people living with or affected with
HIV and AIDS in South Africa.

Assuring you of our prayers and support.

With fraternal greetings in Christ,

Dr William Temu
Acting General Secretary