|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
At Reception, Secretary-General Says Replenishing Global Fund against AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria ‘Replenishing Hope and Dignity in People’s Lives’
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the welcome reception for the Global Fund Third Replenishment Meeting and opening of the “Access to Life” exhibition, in New York, 4 October:
We are here tonight with the wind at our backs.
A very successful General Assembly that put health at the centre of our plans for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
A breakthrough in global action for women’s and children’s health.
Tomorrow, we gather to further fuel that progress by replenishing the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
In these photographs, we plainly see why we are here.
Our work is about more than replenishing a fund, it is about replenishing hope and dignity in people’s lives.
Behind every number, there is a person.
A real person with a real story.
More and more, the story is one of a heroic journey to health and hope.
As this exhibition teaches us, access to treatment means “access to life”.
That is the message that leaps from these stirring images.
Thanks to programs supported by the Global Fund, there are about 6 million other stories around the world. Six million lives saved.
Each day, another 4,000 people are able to take hold of the lifeline that is the Global Fund.
I saw that myself when I visited Uganda’s largest AIDS clinic earlier this year. I met young people who arrived at the clinic near death.
Now, they are healthy. Looking forward. Alive in every sense.
That is what the Global Fund is all about: giving people their lives back.
That success is a collective achievement of everyone here tonight: Member States, donors, partners, civil society and the staff of the Global Fund, UNAIDS, and other multilateral organizations who have worked together to achieve such remarkable results.
But we know there is much to do.
10 million people are not getting the urgent life-saving treatment for HIV that they need.
Malaria still affects 250 million people every year.
The fight against TB goes on.
It saddens me deeply that some of the people in these photos received treatment too late.
I am haunted by the decisions that health professionals must make every day:
How do you choose to treat one child over another?
How do you turn away a pregnant mother crying for help?
Ladies and gentlemen,
We can do better.
So take a close look at the faces in this exhibition…and you might just see the future.
A future where no one has to die for want of treatment that is available and affordable.
A future where every woman has the chance to give birth to children free of HIV.
A future where every young girl and boy can live a life free from malaria and tuberculosis.
That is the future I see.
Let us work to bring that image to life.
* *** *For information media • not an official record