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Learning English - Words in the News
14 July, 2004 - Published 12:23 GMT
UN AIDS warning
Kofi Annan

The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has warned the international community that it is not doing enough to fight Aids. Mr Annan was speaking at the opening ceremony of the fifteenth International Aids Conference, in Bangkok. This report from Chris Hogg:

Listen to the story

Kofi Annan presents a stark picture of the situation the world faces as the global Aids pandemic continues to grow. Three years ago governments set themselves a set of time-limited targets for dealing with the disease -- several have not been met. "We're not doing nearly well enough," he says.

Increasingly women are bearing the brunt of the epidemic, a pattern Mr Annan says is terrifying. At least a third of countries don't have policies to ensure women have access to prevention and care --"how can that be allowed?" he says. The international community must work harder on a number of fronts: women and girls need more help to protect themselves against the virus; health systems need to be improved and scaled up to support both treatment and prevention. Leadership, he says, is the key at every level. The responsibility for tackling this crisis goes all the way to the top, in each country of the world.

Chris Hogg, BBC News, Bangkok

Listen to the words

harsh, unpleasant

a disease that is widespread over a very large area and affects large numbers of the population

time-limited targets
objectives that must be reached by a particular date, or tasks that must be completed in a particular amount of time.

bearing the brunt of
suffering most of the effects of

have access to
(in this context) be able to receive

areas; if something happens on a particular front, it happens with regard to a particular situation or activity

scaled up

the key
the answer

at every level
at every stage of a political or business organisation

goes all the way to the top
extends from the lowest level of an organisation to the leaders of it

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