Bangkok AIDS Conference

 

Process for Dealing with Disturbances during Oral Sessions

Dear Chair, co-Chair and Speaker at the International AIDS Conference

In light of previous situations and information from our Security consultant and Community liaison person, the IAS has prepared a freedom of expression statement, along with a process we will follow during the Bangkok Conference in the event that any serious disruptions to speakers occur. We have worked closely with co-organisers, the Local Host, security services and other partners on this issue, and there is general consensus on the matter. However, as the IAS is the convener of the Conference, the policy attached is our own, and will therefore be placed on the IAS website, with a link from the Conference website, and now we also would like to distribute it to all speakers, chairs and sponsors.


IAS Freedom of Expression Statement

The International AIDS Society has endorsed freedom of expression as an essential principle in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Activism and advocacy contribute to advancing commitment, policy and practice aimed at ending the epidemic.

The IAS does not condone the destruction of property or the use of force by any party during the International AIDS Conference. We have worked closely with the co-organisers, the Local Host, activists, security services and other partners to encourage a vibrant, dynamic conference where the voices of all presenters and delegates can be heard.

We ask all participants to respect these principles, in the interests of a peaceful and successful Conference.

We have agreed to the following Process for Dealing with Disturbances during Oral Sessions

1) In the handful of sessions where a major disturbance MAY occur, an IAS staff person will be on hand to assist the chair/s and speakers

2) A slide will be available for all oral session halls, in English and Thai, which reads " Please respect the right of the speaker to be heard". In the event of verbal disturbance lasting more than two minutes, the chair will signal the AV to put up the slide. The slide will remain up until the disturbance has died down. If there are further disturbances of the same session for more than 30 seconds, the slide will be put back up.

3) If a disturbance does not stop, despite the reminder to the audience to respect the right of the speaker to be heard, security services will consult with IAS. IAS will recommend that no physical force be used against demonstrators.

4) If physical force or threats of physical force are used by demonstrators, security services will remove those people from the room. IAS will not be consulted in this instance.

5) If, despite procedures in place, a speaker is unable to deliver his/her presentation, the IAS will afterwards issue a press release condemning the action as contrary to its freedom of expression statement.

6) Similarly, if physical force is used by any party, the IAS will issue a press release condemning the activity as contrary to its freedom of expression statement.

We would like to thank you for your understanding and your support

Kind regards
Conference Secretariat

 

 

 

 


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