Statements and Webcast
H.E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, president of Nigeria, said the international community stood on the “doorsteps of history”, with an opportunity to build on the gains of the past ten years. An AIDS diagnosis was no longer an automatic death-sentence, and HIV was now better understood. Africa continued to bear a disproportionate burden of HIV and AIDS, but that continent’s leaders were committed to increasing access to services for HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. In 2006, the African Union adopted the Continental Framework for Harmonisation of Approaches Among Member States and the Integration of Policies on Human Rights and People Infected by HIV and AIDS. This and other efforts were aimed towards a sustained, coordinated and resolute continental action to stop new infections, maximize efficiency in the delivery of treatment, and achieve sustainable financing for the HIV response.
In Nigeria, HIV/AIDS services were currently the most rapidly expanding health interventions, with a multisector approach that better mobilized resources and improved coordination among public, private and civil society stakeholders. Among Nigeria’s relevant successes were the Youth Leadership in AIDS programme, the promotion of behavioural change and awareness through media and film, an annual journalists’ award for excellence in HIV/AIDS programming, and a bill presently before Nigeria’s parliament seeking to address the specific issues of stigmatization and discrimination directed at those living with HIV.
He said his administration remained determined to provide new impetus to the HIV/AIDS response by integrating the health sector into the country’s human development agenda. For example, from now until 2015 the Government would lead and coordinate the multisectoral implementation of its National Strategic Framework and Plan for HIV/AIDS. As for universal access, it aimed to increase government funding from 7 per cent to 50 per cent by 2015. Also by 2015, his administration would strive to eliminate mother-to-child transmission, and would work with the Nigerian National Assembly to allocate at least 15 per cent of the federal budget for the health sector, as agreed in the Abuja Declaration. Such objectives would greatly contribute to achieving the joint objectives of the Millennium Development Goals and the elimination of new HIV infections, including AIDS-related deaths, by 2015. He said it was not the time for the international community to take its eyes off the target, but rather for it to retain the resolve and focus of the Declarations of 2001 and 2006, if the gains of the past 10 years were not to be eroded.