Deirdre Childress Hopkins explores the world, entertainment and sports

I will be traveling to Senegal this week. Please read the news release below (excuse typos from conversion): 


New York, Dec. 13, 2011 — More than 30 prominent African-American mayors are travelling this week to Senegal, West Africa, to convene a four-day historic dialogue with more than 200 black mayors from around the world. 

The 2011 World Summit of Mayors Leadership Conference will take place from Dec. 15-19 inDakar,Senegal. His Excellency Maître Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal, will host the conference, which is co-organized by the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM), the National Association of Senegalese Mayors (AMS), and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

“The foundational belief of the summit is that unified work on the development challenges facing cities on the global landscape is essential to the improvement of the wellbeing of all citizens in urban areas,’’ said Mayor Robert L. Bowser of East Orange, New Jersey, President of the NCBM.

Topics of discussion over the four-day meeting will include good governance, trade, tourism, twinning of cities, economic development, the response to AIDS, education, and media.

Political leaders and high-ranking government officials also will converge onDakarfrom throughout Africa, Latin America, and theCaribbean. High-level speakers at theSummitwill include Garry Conille, Prime Minister of Haiti, Hubert Alexander Ingraham, Prime Minister of theBahamas, Angelino Garzon, Vice-President of Colombia, and Reta Jo Lewis, the U.S. State Department’s Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs.

Mayor Bowser will lead theU.S.delegation of mayors, which will serve as representatives on behalf of the 658 black mayors that are members of the organization.   Among majorU.S.cities that will be represented at theSummitwill beWashington,D.C.,Atlanta,Sacramento,Las VegasandTallahassee. Mayors will represent both urban and rural communities. Also participating will beNorth MiamiandTuskegee.

 “This and other initiatives help to accelerate progress toward the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, using the response to HIV/AIDS as an entry point,’’ said Dr. Djibril Diallo, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of UNAIDS. “This will bring the UNAIDS vision of “3 Zeros” into sharper focus: Zero new HIV infections, Zero Discrimination, and Zero AIDS-related deaths.”

“The U.S. African Renaissance and African Diaspora Network, a New York-based initiative that promotes sustainable human development, helped facilitate theSummit,” noted Dr. Diallo, who coordinates the Network.

 “The primary focus is restoring, strengthening and uplifting working relationships and collaborations among the various participating leaders, many of whom represent untapped resources and communities throughout the Diaspora,’’ said Vanessa R. Williams, Executive Director of NCBM.

Plans for the summit began to take shape a year ago when prominent African-American leaders attended the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures inDakar. During the Festival, President Wade designated African-American leaders as Goodwill Ambassadors for the African Renaissance and called for the creation of partnerships between organizations in the Diaspora andAfrica.

As a follow-up, severalU.S.organizations and Senegalese counterparts — including mayors, university presidents, and artists and intellectuals — signed cooperation agreements last June. The results of the partnerships were presented to theSummitof heads of State and government of the African Union, the pan-African political body, in January 2011 inAddis Ababa,Ethiopia, and last July inMalabo,Equatorial   Guinea.


For further information, contact:


Nicholas Gouede | UNAIDS New York | tel. +1 646 666 8017 | mob. +917 842 8370 |


Richard Leonard | UNAIDS New York | tel. +1 646 666 8009 | mob. +347 420 1024 |


Shantel Gilbert | National Conference of Black Mayors Atlanta| tel. +1 404 765 6444 Ext. 106 |



NCBM: Founded in 1974, the National Conference of Black Mayors represents more than 650 African-American Mayors across theUnited States. Collectively, its membership represents over 48 million citizens. NCBM is a leader in the re-development of most vulnerable communities and works towards the empowerment of leadership on the local level.


UNAIDS: Leveraging the AIDS response, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) works to build political action and to promote the rights of all people for better results for global health and development. Globally, it sets policy and is the source of HIV-related data. In countries, UNAIDS brings together the resources of the UNAIDS Secretariat and 10 UN system organizations for coordinated and accountable efforts to unite the world against AIDS.

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