|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Says Dramatic Turnaround, Remarkable Progress Combating AIDS,
Tuberculosis, Malaria ‘Driven’ by African Leaders’ Collective Action
Following are UN Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the lunch with African leaders in AIDS Watch Africa, in Addis Ababa, 26 May:
I am honoured to join you in celebrating Africa’s achievements over the past half-century. This afternoon, we celebrate a critical milestone — your remarkable progress on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Once, these diseases ravaged Africa. Now, they are on the decline. The number of people who get HIV has fallen by a quarter since 2001. Nearly 13 million people have received treatment for TB. Malaria deaths are down by one third.
This dramatic turnaround was driven by each of you. You took collective action through the African Union. The United Nations is your partner. We understand that good health is central to strong development.
I celebrate your progress — and I share your resolve to do even more. I urge you to continue investing in an AIDS-free Africa. This will improve the health, empowerment and human rights of your citizens.
The benefits will reverberate far beyond this continent. When African leaders set their sights on reaching MDG 6, you set the standard for progress across the other Goals. When you continue your unprecedented increases in domestic investments in combating AIDS, TB and malaria, you show that shared responsibility can bring great results in the post-2015 development era.
I am confident that you and your partners will get the job done. UNAIDS, the Global Fund and others will support you. I hope we can use our time today to look at how to keep AIDS, TB and malaria at the core of the post-2015 development framework.
I welcome the new commission on the transition from AIDS to sustainable health. I thank President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Chairperson Dlamini-Zuma for leading this global discussion. You can help formulate a new strategy for AIDS and global health — for Africa and the world.
I have met with many inspiring citizens who are on the frontlines of the fight for better health. One mother said: “No child should be born with HIV; no child should be an orphan because of HIV; no child should die due to lack of access to treatment.”
What she said is also true for TB and malaria. Your actions to address these diseases constitute one of Africa’s greatest legacies. I commend your leadership. I look forward to your ideas. And I pledge that the United Nations will provide our full support to realizing a healthier future for Africa and the world. Thank you.
* *** *For information media • not an official record