H.E. Ms Penny Wensley
Ambassador of Australia

Co-facilitator of the Prepatory Process for the Special Session on HIV/AIDS





MR PRESIDENT,

IT IS AN HONOUR FOR ME AND FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND COUNTRY I REPRESENT-AUSTRALIA-THAT I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO PRESENT THIS LANDMARK DOCUMENT TO DELEGATIONS FOR THEIR APPROVAL AND ADOPTION;
JUST AS IT WAS AN HONOUR TO BE ASKED BY YOU,MR PRESIDENT, TO SERVE AS CO-FACILITATOR OF THE PREPARATORY PROCESS FOR THIS HISTORIC SPECIAL SESSSION ON HIV/AIDS.

IT HAS BEEN MY PRIVILEGE TO WORK WITH YOU AND YOUR STAFF, WITH THE DEDICATED SECRETARIATS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND OF UNAIDS, WITH MY FELLOW FACILITATOR, AMBASSADOR KA OF SENEGAL, WITH THE AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE UN SYSTEM THAT DEAL WITH HIV/AIDS AND ABOVE ALL, WITH THE DELEGATES,THE REPRESENTATIVES OF MEMBER AND OBSERVER STATES, TO PRODUCE THE DECLARATION THAT IS THE PRINCIPAL PRODUCT OF THE SESSION AND WHICH COMMITS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO TAKE PURPOSEFUL ACTION TO ADDRESS THIS DEVASTATING DISEASE AND THE THREAT THAT ITS CONTINUING GROWTH AND SPREAD REPRESENTS TO MANKIND.

MR PRESIDENT: IT IS NOT A PERFECT TEXT, BUT IT IS A GOOD TEXT--, ACTION-ORIENTED AND PRACTICAL.

IT COMPRISES A COMPREHENSIVE PREAMBULAR SECTION AND ELEVEN SEPARATE SECTIONS, AS YOU SEE THEM LISTED IN THE DOCUMENT, STARTING WITH LEADERSHIP AND ENDING WITH FOLLOW UP
EACH SECTION BEGINS WITH A CAPTION OR CAPTIONS,DESIGNED TO SEND A CLEAR, SIMPLE, STRIKING MESSAGE ABOUT THE CRITICAL AREA BEING ADDRESSED, WHETHER THIS BE RESOURCES, CHILDREN
ORPHANED AND MADE VULNERABLE BY HIV/AIDS OR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. THE DRAFTERS WERE ACUTELY AWARE THAT ONE OF THE MAIN PURPOSES OF THIS SPECIAL SESSION WAS TO RAISE
INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS OF HIV/AIDS AND WANTED TO PRODUCE A TEXT WHICH WAS READABLE AND WHICH DROVE THE MESSAGE HOME.
 

EACH SECTION IDENTIFIES PRIORITIES, SETS BROAD GOALS AND IN AS MANY CASES AS POSSIBLE, SPECIFIC TARGETS FOR ACTION, WITH SPECIFIC TIMETABLES FOR THAT ACTION, IN A FRAMEWORK OF 3,5 OR 10 YEARS,

AND IN EACH SECTION,EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO SHOW WHERE THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTION LIES, I.E WITH NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS, AT THE REGIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, OR
A COMBINATION OF THESE.
 

ALL THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND SPECIFIC GOALS AND TARGETS ARE FIRMLY BASED ON TECHNICAL ADVICE, DRAWING IN PARTICULAR ON THE EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE OF UNAIDS AND ITS
COSPONSORING PARTNERS,  AS WELL AS ON THE PRACTICAL, DIRECT, EXPERIENCE OF GOVERNMENTS
AND OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN DEALING OR LIVING WITH THE PANDEMIC.

SIGNIFICANT EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN PREVENTION, CARE, TREATMENT AND SUPPORT;;

AND TO ENSURE A TRULY GLOBAL APPROACH-WITH PROPER EMPHASIS ON THE WORST AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND REGIONS AND THOSE THAT ARE AT MOST RISK, WHILST RECOGNISING THAT COUNTRIES OR COMMUNITIES NOT YET SERIOUSLY AFFECTED MUST BE PROTECTED.

AS SUCH, THE DECLARATION STRIKES NEW GROUND FOR PREVENTIVE APPROACHES.

OTHER SIGNIFICANT FEATURES ARE THE STRONG EMPHASIS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER ISSUES; AND ON COORDINATION, COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIP.

THE DOCUMENT TAKES ACCOUNT OF DIFFERENT CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES AND VALUES, AND ACKNOWLEDGES THE VERY DIFFERENT SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CONFRONT INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES.

THIS WAS NOT JUST NECESSARY, MR PRESIDENT, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE AGREEMENT AMONG 189 MEMBER STATES, BUT IT WAS FUNDAMENTALLY IMPORTANT, TO ENABLE US, TOGETHER, TO PRESENT
THIS DECLARATION TO OUR GOVERNMENTS AND LEADERS AND TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE, AS ONE WHICH DEFINES GENUINELY COMMON PRIORITIES AND COMMITMENTS, WHICH ALL OF US CAN ENDORSE  WHICH, TOGETHER, ALL OF US CAN NOW WORK TO IMPLEMENT. FOR IT IS ONLY IN IMPLEMENTATION THAT THE WORTH OF  THIS DECLARATION WILL BE TESTED, AND THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE SUFFERING AT RISK OF HIV/AIDS CHANGED FOR THE BETTER.