Statements and Webcast
H. E. Mr. Cesare Maria Ragaglini, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
CESARE MARIA RAGAGLINI ( Italy) said his country was committed to fighting HIV/AIDS, and not just within its borders; it was also working with its partners in the developing world. Prevention was the heart of Italy’s strategy, he said, stressing that to be successful, that strategy required a holistic approach, combining the benefits of science and social policies. The Italian Government, in October 2010, had approved a national anti-drug action plan, which recognized that drug addiction was a preventable, treatable and curable disease and that the health of drug users should be protected by a “continuum of care” aimed at the individual’s full recovery and the prevention of drug-related diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis. If applied in isolation and outside a medical context that was focused on treatment, rehabilitation, reintegration and recovery, such harm-reduction strategies would not bear full results over the long-term. Thus, the additional concept of “risk reduction”, which was more directly linked to preventing HIV, must be applied.
He stressed that HIV/AIDS was a main concern in Italy’s development cooperation health policies. Italy considered national ownership, alignment with national policies and mutual accountability to be additional cornerstones in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Italian development policy treated that effort — as well as the fight against other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria — to be integral in its strategy to strengthen the structure of its health services. Recalling the important role played by the Global Fund, he noted Italy’s contribution of more than $1 billion since 2001. He further underlined the role of poverty in HIV/AIDS, saying it was difficult to envision universal access without helping the poor families so heavily afflicted by the consequences of the disease.