This is an archive of the Treatment Action Campaign's public documents from December 1998 until October 2008. I created this website because the TAC's website appears unmaintained and people were concerned that it
was becoming increasingly hard to find important documents.

The menu items have been slightly edited and a new stylesheet applied to the site. But none of the documents have been edited, not even for minor errors. The text appears on this site as obtained from the Internet Archive.

The period covered by the archive encompassed the campaign for HIV medicines, the civil disobedience campaigns, the Competition Commission complaints, the 2008 xenophobic violence and the PMTCT, Khayelitsha health workers and Matthias Rath court cases.

TAC Electronic Newsletter

18 April 2006


In Brief

UNGASS is a chance to make a new start –

We cannot afford to squander it


This United Nations General Assembly Special Session on AIDS (UNGASS) meeting, being held in May, is an opportunity to develop a programme of action to create universal access to prevention, treatment and care for HIV. We will campaign for considerable injections of resources for the HIV epidemic, including sufficient financing of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, as well as commitments from UN member states to set feasible targets for treatment, prevention and care.

In March, the South African government objected to the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) being accredited for UNGASS. Hence the TAC and the ALP are two of six organisations that have been prevented from accreditation through the deliberate intervention of UN country members. As far as we can ascertain Namibia and Belarus were the only other two countries that exercised objections. Hundreds of organisations from across the world have been accredited, because their governments did not choose to exercise an objection to their accreditation.

By objecting to TAC and ALP accreditation, our government acted unilaterally and intolerantly. In media reports, the Director-General of Health explained that the TAC was objected to because it disagrees with and embarrasses government. This was rightly followed by local and international outrage against this action by our government.
Consequently, government met with the TAC and the ALP. We accepted this offer. There is unfortunately no UN mechanism for undoing the objection to our accreditation. We therefore made the following reasonable demand when we met with government: include TAC and the ALP in the South African country delegation to UNGASS. We would pay our own way and organise our own arrangements, but this would be a way, albeit not entirely satisfactory, to remedy the objection to our accreditation.

We note that a country delegation has been constructed. We recognise that the Department created the delegation list under tight time contraints, but there should have been more consultation in the construction of the list. They published a list of delegates who would form the country delegation to UNGASS. This list included TAC General Secretary, Sipho Mthathi.

The following issues remain unresolved:


Subequently, we have made it clear to government that we expect them to invite the ALP to participate as part of the country delegation. If they do this and the invitation to both organisations has no conditions attached, we will accept the invitation. Otherwise, we shall consider all our options.

TAC looks forward to working with government to ensure that the UNGASS meeting results in useful actions to alleviate the HIV epidemic.


Correction to statement in last newsletter

In the last newsletter we stated that Swaziland is the world's last absolute monarchy. This is incorrect, of course. There are a number of absolute monarchies and it was not our intention to minimise the oppression of people and organisations struggling for democracy in these countries. Our apologies for the error. The online version of the newsletter will reflect this correction.