18 July 2003


NEW YORK, 17 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the video message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the International Conference in Support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Paris, on 16 July:

First of all, I should like to thank France for having taken the initiative to bring you together today in the interests of a cause of the greatest importance.  I should also like to thank that country for its energetic support for the Global Fund.

I also thank the United States for its support and Tommy Thompson for the commitment with which he presides over the Fund.

This meeting is tangible evidence of the dynamism generated in recent years by the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.  Far more rapidly than one could ever have imagined, the original beautiful idea of the Fund has become a reality.

By gathering today, you are showing your commitment to mobilizing greater support for the Fund, and ensuring that it lives up to its full potential.  By your example, you are demonstrating your understanding of the crucial role the Fund has to play in the fight against these devastating diseases.

The Fund is not there to replace existing national or international efforts.  Those efforts are of vital importance and must continue.  The Fund exists to fill a specific and substantial gap, by providing effective and efficient financing to scale up our collective struggle.

To mount an effective global response to HIV/AIDS alone, the total spending needs to rise to 10 billion a year by 2005.  The Global Fund is there to channel a significant share of that amount -- but again, by no means all of it.

Today, we have an opportunity to build on the leadership shown by a number of countries in the movement to support the Fund.  We look to more donors to follow their example.   

That support can take many forms:  direct financial contributions, practical support for operations, mobilization within recipient countries.

However you choose to do it, the biggest challenge before you is to ensure that substantial commitments are made, and new partnerships created, to enable the Fund to play its role to the full.

For the United Nations family, and me personally, turning the tide on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is a priority second to none.  We will remain a full and committed partner in the collective struggle towards our common goal.  Thank you very much.

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