Statements and Webcast
H. E. Mr. Pedro Serrano, Acting head of delegation
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said the bloc provided more than 30 per cent of global funding against HIV to low- and middle-income countries, and was proud to have contributed to the achievements of the last 10 years. However, there was no room for complacency despite recent successes, he said, emphasizing that the epidemic remained a global challenge requiring continued political commitment and a sustained, long-term response. Prevention was the key to building a world with zero new HIV infections, and the epidemic’s main drivers must be identified and addressed. In that regard, a comprehensive approach was needed to address, for example, harmful gender norms, gender-based violence and poverty.
Moreover, gender equality and the empowerment of women were central to fighting HIV, he continued, stressing that maternal and newborn health must be strengthened. There was also a need for access, for boys and girls, to sexual education as well as male and female condoms. Inadequate attention was paid to the prevention needs of key at-risk populations — particularly men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users, as well as sex workers and their clients — and the world would not be able sharply to lower HIV transmission rates if that did not change, he warned. Furthermore, there was an urgent need to scale up efforts to strengthen health systems. Long-term, sustainable health-financing policies were needed to increase the number of people accessing prevention, treatment, care and support programmes, as well as to ensure that the poorest and most affected were reached, he said, adding that previous commitments must also be honoured.