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Annie Lennox was among the speakers at a major international conference on children affected by HIV and AIDS in Dublin, Ireland, on Monday.

The singer appeared on behalf of UNICEF and called on governments to meet their aid pledges and work over the long term to support developing countries.

“Over the years, governments are notoriously bad at keeping their promises,” she told the forum, which included the Irish Overseas Development Minister. “We also realize that in the year 2008, many of the goals for 2015 are nowhere near the target. Nevertheless, we must not walk away from the issues. Governments come and go, but poverty remains. We can only keep trying to lobby and the advocacy must continue. It’s a long-term thing. It’s not showing up at a concert and then going away. It must be lasting.”

The Fourth Global Forum on Children Affected by HIV and Aids, organized by Irish Aid and UNICEF, was aimed at building up momentum in reaching a series of goals agreed by world leaders in 2000. Over 200 officials from 42 countries attended the event, all of who wanted to unite to find a solution to AIDS and poverty.

“Even though there has been progress in the global fight against HIV and AIDS, last year some 370,000 children were newly diagnosed with HIV,” said Melanie Verwoerd, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland. “The rate of HIV infection amongst children is unacceptable and needs to be addressed by the global community as a matter of urgency.”

To see Annie Lennox’s personal video blog about the event, click here.

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