It is morally wrong to make a mother choose between treatment for herself and treatment for her newborn. It is morally wrong that people should be dying of AIDS when treatment is available. It is morally wrong that babies are still being born with HIV when we know how to prevent it. It is morally wrong that children are still growing up as AIDS orphans.
Through this transition, the five BRICS countries are bringing a new voice, a new perspective and new solutions to today’s global challenges. It is a voice with incredible economic, technological and innovative strength behind it, and at the same time, a voice intimately connected to the needs and interests of the developing world.
Since we last met in December, together we have: Launched a new investment approach for an effective response to HIV; Renewed the global commitment to universal access; Mobilized the contributions of key partners for their engagement in the High Level Meeting and beyond; Supported a highly successful 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS and a groundbreaking new Political Declaration; Continued progress on implementing internal reforms at UNAIDS; Finalized a visionary budget that will enable UNAIDS to deliver bold results.
Over the past 30 years, AIDS has forged a new social compact between the global North and South. We have mobilized unprecedented resources with your leadership, and we managed to produce life-saving results for people.
We are convinced that fresh political commitments around this new resolution will enable the UN to effectively contribute to the efforts of Member States to address the impact of AIDS on peace and security. In so doing, Member States will also be encouraged strengthen their response AIDS in National Strategic Plans, and put into place appropriate strategies, policies, capacities and resources.
Funding sustainable health care is a moral obligation, a right not a luxury. In this, the faith community and the Church are among our strongest allies in calling for robust, comprehensive and lasting national responses to HIV. To do this, the faith communities and the AIDS movement must come together and speak with one voice. The world is not hearing us because we are talking over, and sometimes in opposition to, each other.
African countries have learned that investing in AIDS is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing. It is like putting money in the bank. Averting disability and deaths from AIDS results in higher productivity in factories, farms and office buildings; fewer orphans needing support; and lower costs of medical care for AIDS-related illness.
To be a partner for women and girls against violence and injustice, you do not have to be experts on human rights or gender. You do have to be committed to always asking in your daily work: “How can I better engage women and girls to understand what they need? How can I better support human rights, gender equality and an end to sexual and other forms of violence?” These answers should change your work and will enable churches to be more compassionate for the cause of women and girls.
I am honoured to be here today, and I thank you for your warm welcome. I want to begin by expressing my deep gratitude to OAFLA members for your leadership and contributions to the AIDS response in Africa. I congratulate you, because the work of African First Ladies has been increasingly visible and has made a real difference in the lives of our mothers, sisters and children.
UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, delivered his report to the 27th Meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB). In his report, Mr Sidibé updated the Board on the Joint Programme’s activities since its last meeting in June 2010. He also spoke on recent developments in the AIDS response, the ongoing impact of the global recession, and efforts to make UNAIDS a more effective and efficient organization.
I deeply appreciate UNIDO’s leadership on the link between industrial development and public health, and specifically for being a valuable partner to the AIDS response in promoting drug production in developing countries.
It is a pleasure to be here in St. Maarten, at this timely and important point in PANCAP’s history. I am truly inspired to be with so many of the very people who broke the conspiracy of silence around AIDS in the Caribbean
Like your diamonds, they are precious. And like diamonds, they are unbelievably strong. They are the solid centre of human life—of families, of communities, of care—the places where AIDS is most effectively challenged. And like Liberia’s diamonds, they bring pride to this country, and they deserve to be free.
NGOs tackle the work that governments will not do, cannot do, or dont do well. UNAIDS Executive Director calls on NGOs to lead the next big step forward. To make investments and momentum for AIDS into a bridge for producing larger health and development outcomes. Only with the leadership role of NGOs can we take AIDS out of isolation and fully integrate the AIDS response with the MDGs.
We meet at a moment in time when the AIDS response is at a crossroads. We have achieved some lasting gains against the epidemic: The conspiracy of silence has been broken. Over five million people are on lifesaving treatment. Infection rates are dropping. People living with HIV and engaged and active in ways we have never before seen. Young people have reduced their HIV prevalence 25% in 15 of the highest-burden countries. We expect to virtually eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in just a few years