Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

REMARKS AT THE PLENARY MEETING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION OF COMMITMENTS ON HIV/AIDS AND THE POLITICAL DECLARATION ON HIV/AIDS

New York, 11 June 2012

 

Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

One year ago, at a High Level Meeting of the General Assembly, Member States unanimously adopted an historic Political Declaration on HIV and AIDs.

This declaration helped shape the end-game of the AIDs crisis.

Member States set clear targets, to reduce the transmission of HIV.

Today, we come together to review progress made since this adoption.

In reflecting on the past year, I am struck by Member States’ avid commitment to realizing our shared values and shared responsibilities.

This commitment has inspired a new unity of purpose; a resolve to focus on results; and an opportunity to carve out clear roles for governments, donors, civil society and the United Nations.

Today we are riding a wave of renewed hope and accelerating progress against HIV.

We are achieving dramatic reductions in new infections in the hardest-hit countries, and among young people worldwide.

We are also seeing the dramatic scaling-up treatments in low- and middle-income countries, from thousands to millions in just one decade.   

The AIDS response has had a profound impact on human health and development - advancing the agendas of human rights, social justice and gender equality; helping to build more inclusive societies; and moving science forward in the service of people.

Yet, critical challenges remain.

HIV still disproportionately affects vulnerable populations.

Populations at higher risk face additional stigmatization and discrimination, which only fuels the epidemic.

Funding is in decline, thereby diminishing the ability of the international community to sustain necessary progress.

This plenary meeting is taking place just over three years before the 2015 deadline that Member States set in the Political Declaration to achieve critical targets.

We must ensure that the commitments that were made are implemented, so that we can re-direct the course of the epidemic, and avert future costs to society.

It is critical that we support the integration of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support into relevant health and development programmes.

Such programmes include those on sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, gender equality, non-communicable disease responses, and the strengthening of health systems.

We must explore ways in which the scale-up of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support may be leveraged to strengthen not only high-quality health services during specific periods of life - such as pregnancy and childhood - but respond to a range of other health conditions and development challenges.

Challenges like food security, poverty, drug dependence the fulfillment of human rights.

We must also use this AIDS Review as an opportunity to reflect on the linkages between AIDS and MDGs, and in preparation for the upcoming MDG review.

The post-2015 development agenda must depend on a strong vision that unites all components of the social sector—heath, education, social protection and more.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Achieving the 10 targets set out in the 2011 Political Declaration is a worthy and achievable aim.

But this is not a journey towards a single outcome.

Built into the AIDS movement is the vast potential for global change that will be felt far beyond 2015.

It is up to every single one of us – Member States, civil society, private sector and individuals – to work together, to step up the campaign and to implement the commitments made for a better tomorrow.

Together we must act strategically and effectively to achieve the vision of a world with zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

This is a world I wish for us all.

Thank you.

 

***