6 July 2006

Secretary-General Urges Strengthened Financing for Global Fund against Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Message to Durban Replenishment Meeting

NEW YORK, 5 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's video message to the Global Fund Replenishment Meeting in Durban, 4 July:

I am happy to address this mid-term meeting of the Global Fund's 2006-2007 Replenishment Process -- even if I do so long-distance.

The Global Fund is not yet five years old.  But it has already proved itself to be an effective mechanism for channelling additional resources to the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria.

It has rightly emphasized country ownership.  It has demonstrated flexibility.  It has focused on measurable targets and the delivery of results.

In this way, it has helped scale up services dramatically in 130 countries around the world.  As a result, by working with countries and the United Nations family, it has probably helped prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of new infections.

Its success has also made it possible for donors to increase, substantially and productively, their investment in fighting the three diseases.  Let me thank you, and congratulate you on stepping up to the challenge.

When we met in London in September, you made new pledges to the Global Fund.  Since then, there have been additional commitments.

Yet, we still face a substantial shortfall for a sixth financing round.  This round is essential.

It is needed to achieve the global goals we are all committed to, as reaffirmed at the General Assembly high-level meeting on AIDS last month -- including the goal of scaling up towards universal access to treatment and prevention by 2010.

It is also needed merely to sustain the life-saving work that has begun in many countries, with Global Fund and United Nations support.

And with a rising number of people on AIDS treatment that cannot be interrupted, countries will need strong signals that the Global Fund will have sufficient, predictable and sustainable resources.

Those are the challenges where we need your support.  Together, we can strengthen the global fight against these three diseases.

I thank every one of you for your commitment, and wish you a most productive meeting.

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