WILLIAM H. ROEDY
 PRESIDENT, MTV NETWORKS INTERNATIONAL &
CHAIR, GLOBAL BUSINESS COUNCIL ON HIV & AIDS

STATEMENT

TO

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL SPECIAL ASSEMBLY ON HIV/AIDS

27 JUNE 2001

 

 
 
MR. PRESIDENT.
HONOURED DELEGATES.
LADIES & GENTLEMEN

THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

I'M ENCOURAGED BY THE PROGRESS THIS WEEK. THE BUSINESS RESPONSE TO AIDS HAS GAINED MUCH MOMENTUM DURING THESE LAST FEW DAYS.
 

OUR RESPONSE TO DATE HAS BEEN TERRIBLY INADEQUATE.

WHILE THERE HAVE BEEN A BROAD RANGE OF VERY GOOD QUALITY RESPONSES, ON THE WHOLE, THEY HAVE NOT MATCHED:

1. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE EPIDEMIC.

2. NOR, THE BUSINESS CAPABILITY.
 

WHAT IS OUR CAPABILITY?

WE HAVE UNIQUE STRENGTHS THAT WE CAN DELIVER TO FIGHT AIDS. IN FACT, WE ARE VERY WELL SUITED TO THE FIGHT.

QUITE SIMPLY, WE HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO REACH EVERY HUMAN BEING ON THE EARTH. AND HIV/AIDS AFFECTS BUSINESS EVERYDAY IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.

SO, WHAT TO DO?

. FIRST, WE MUST PLAY TO OUR STRENGTHS / ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL.
 FOR EXAMPLE, 1/2 OF ALL NEW HIV INFECTIONS ARE AMONG
 YOUNG PEOPLE, UNDER THE AGE OF 25. THIS IS MTV'S AUDIENCE. WE USE OUR GLOBAL NETWORKS TO COMMUNICATE PREVENTION AND TACKLE STIGMA.

. SECOND, THE GLOBAL BUSINESS COUNCILS"BLUEPRINT" CAN HELP GUIDE PROGRAMMES TO SUIT INDIVIDUAL BUSINESSES.

.. THINK EMPLOYEES - WHO ARE OUR RESPONSIBILITY -AND ALSO OUR CUSTOMERS & THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES.

. WE MUST ENERGISE ALL BUSINESSES AND EXPAND THE GLOBAL BUSINESS COUNCIL ON HIV & AIDS.

. BUSINESS LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD MUST JOIN NATIONAL BUSINESS COUNCILS. IF THEY DO NOT EXIST IN THEIR COUNTRY, THE GLOBAL BUSINESS COUNCIL WILL HELP THEM START ONE.

. MOST IMPORTANT, WE MUST NOT TOLERATE COMPLACENCY. WE MUST GET ON WITH IT - AS BUSINESS IS CAPABLE OF DOING. WE DO IT EVERY DAY WITH OUR BUSINESS, AND WE CAN DO IT WITH HIV/AIDS AS WELL.
 

WE ARE ALSO REACHING OUT TO GOVERNMENTS.
 

WE NEED YOUR PARTNERSHIP.

 
I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR. IF YOU TAKE ONE MESSAGE BACK TO YOUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS, LET IT BE THIS: MEMBERS OF THE GBC WANT TO WORK WITH EVERY GOVERNMENT REPRESENTED IN THIS ROOM TODAY.

. BRING US INTO YOUR POLICY DISCUSSIONS.

. INCLUDE US IN EVERYTHING.

. USE US; CHALLENGE US.
 

YOUR LEADERSHIP WILL BE INVALUABLE, ESPECIALLY BY ENDORSING OUR INITIATIVES, INCLUDING:

. WORKPLACE PROGRAMMES

. NATIONAL BUSINESS COUNCILS

 . AND GETTING BUSINESS TO PLAY TO THEIR STRENGTHS. AND MANY MORE. YOUR ENDORSEMENT CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

LET'S NOT GET HELD BACK BY CULTURAL DIFFERENCES AND DISAGREEMENTS. YES, THE WORLD IS INCREDIBLY DIVERSE, AND WE MUST INCLUDE DIFFERENT APPROACHES. BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT'S ABOUT ACTION, GETTING ON WITH IT. THIS IS WHAT WE, BUSINESS, CAN COMMIT TO DO.

FINALLY, BUSINESS - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOVERNMENTS AND NGOS -MUST, AND WILL BE A LEADER IN THIS FIGHT. THIS IS OUR PLEDGE.
 
 

THANK YOU.