Press Releases

                                                                                                                            4 May 2004

    Secretary-General Tells UNAIDS Global Staff Meeting that Pandemic, while Unprecedented, Is Not Insurmountable

    NEW YORK, 3 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s video message to the global staff meeting of UNAIDS at Martigny, 2-5 May:

    I am so glad that you have all come together to take stock at this critical time in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

    As you know, it is a time when the AIDS crisis is deepening in Africa.  When new epidemics are growing fast in Asia and Eastern Europe.  And when we urgently need more resources.

    To the UNAIDS Country Coordinators and country staff, I say:  You are our men and women on the front lines of this fight.  We owe it to you to give you all the support you need to do your job.  I know the challenges you face in trying to ensure that the UN family speaks with one voice, and acts accordingly.  I know how important it is to ensure that your work is recognized and facilitated by the whole of the UN system.  And I promise to keep doing all I can to help make that happen.

    To all of you at this staff meeting, I say:  You can be proud that you have helped place the AIDS crisis on the global agenda.  You can be proud of the historic General Assembly special session in 2001.  You can be proud of the progress achieved so far in implementing the Declaration of Commitment.  That includes the establishment of the Global Fund two years ago and the launch of the “three by five” initiative this year.

    AIDS is indeed an unprecedented challenge.  But it is by no means insurmountable.  Together, we can turn the tide.  I hope the next few days will inspire you.  I will do all I can to support you in your mission.  Thank you very much, and the best of luck to you all.

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