Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Raza Bashir Tarar, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
RAZA BASHIR TARAR ( Pakistan) echoed the call made by the Secretary-General to all stakeholders to renew and strengthen their commitment to universal access, which should form part of the bridge towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Until recently, Pakistan was a “low-prevalence, high-risk country”, but it was now in a “concentred phase” of the epidemic, with HIV prevalence at more than 5 per cent among injecting-drug users. The proportion of HIV infection among other categories — such as sex workers, unemployed youths and urban injecting-drug users — was still increasing. The geographic trend of the epidemic was also expanding from major urban cities to smaller cities and towns. The country’s response was coordinated by the Government, along with bilateral and multilateral donors, the United Nations system and civil society. The National AIDS Control Programme had come a long way since 1986 in developing a comprehensive response, which took a multisectoral approach starting in 2003. Over the next five years, gains would be consolidated and services scaled up across wider geographic coverage.
He stressed that combating HIV/AIDS and eradicating poverty must proceed hand-in-hand, emphasizing that that coordination could not be achieved without the international community’s active and determined cooperation. He called for the special participation of the developed countries, which had a moral obligation to set aside part of their wealth to reduce the burden of poverty and alleviate human suffering. Further, low-cost drugs, lower profits, new scientific research and knowledge sharing and facilities were also needed to achieve common and sustainable solutions. He called on international donors not to reduce HIV spending as a result of the global economic downturn, urging them instead to commit to further funding to meet agreed commitments on universal access.