Press Releases

    7 September 2005

    Global Fund to Fight AIDS Has Vital Role to Play in Struggle for Human Progress, Secretary-General Says

    NEW YORK, 6 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the remarks on 5 September by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the replenishment meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in London:

    I am really happy to be with all the partners this evening.  And I want to thank you and your department, Hilary [Benn, the Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom], for hosting this important replenishment meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

    The United Kingdom's support for the Global Fund continues to be crucial.  And it is heartening indeed that you have decided to make your leadership of the Group of Eight and the European Union this year into "Development Presidencies", with Africa a central focus for both.

    I am also delighted that we are joined this evening by distinguished men and women from so many countries and so many walks of life -- Government and civil society, academia and diplomacy, faith-based groups and the arts.  We must all join together to fight against these three diseases that claim millions of lives every year.

    So far, the main donors to the Global Fund have been Governments.  They will no doubt continue to play a leading role, but we are also looking to other stakeholders to take ownership and support the Fund.  We will take your contributions in any currency.

    These two days represent a key moment in the life of the Global Fund, which in just three short years has firmly established itself as one of the leading financial mechanisms in the global fight against these three diseases.  The replenishment process is crucial to ensuring that the Fund's long-term stability and planning are assured.

    At the same time, we have entered a new phase in the fight against the epidemic -- the era of implementation.

    The Global Fund has already made a major contribution to the expansion of programmes around the world.  The United Nations family and I remain fully committed to working with the Fund, particularly at the country level, to help overcome the obstacles to implementation, and that instruction has gone to all the UN agencies.  Of course, Peter Piot, who heads UNAIDS, is here with us, and all his colleagues, I assure you, will work on the ground to ensure that we put the Global Fund to effective use, and the resources go where they are needed.

    To do that, we need significant increases in spending, both through the Global Fund and in the context of the broader needs for resources.  Only then can we cover the cost of prevention, treatment, and care, as well as the necessary investments in building infrastructure and developing human resources.

    Our mission is challenging, but it is simple to express:  we must spare no effort in our work to accelerate the delivery of life-saving programmes to the people who need them most.  That is our simple rule, but a difficult one.

    As you know, next week, heads of State and Government will gather at the United Nations for the 2005 World Summit.  I believe we will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address some of the most pressing challenges of our era.

    The fight for global health is crucial, for it covers all three reinforcing sides of the triangle that represents our collective mission -- development, security and human rights.  And I think that at the end of that session, I hope that the concept that these three are linked will be firmly established. I believe that you cannot have security without development, you cannot have development without security, and you will enjoy neither unless there is respect for human rights.

    So the Global Fund has a vital part to play in our struggle for human progress.  I am glad to think I can count on all of you for your support.

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