Secretary-General's remarks at press conference following the Global Fund Replenishment Conference [unofficial transcript of UN Secretary-General's portion only]
New York, 5 October 2010SG: Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon.
It is a great pleasure to see you again, and I am also pleased to be here with Professor Kazatchkine and Global Fund Replenishment Vice Chair Richard Manning.
Today we raised more than 11.5 billion dollars for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This is more than we did at the last replenishment conference, and it is enough to give millions of people living in fear a new lease on life.
I am strongly encouraged by the leadership of the United States, France, Japan, Canada, Norway and Australia, all of which announced major increases. I am also pleased that the United States has made a multi-year commitment for the first time.
I commend the important commitments from the European Commission, Germany, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chevron, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China.
I also very much welcome several new contributors to the Fund, including the United Methodist Church. The coalition is broadening to include more companies and philanthropies, such as Takeda Pharmaceutical and the Gift from Africa Initiative.
At a time when so many Governments are tightening their belts, these commitments send a powerful message.
It shows that many world leaders want to do the right thing beyond their borders, too.
It shows they understand the importance of health for all people.
But let us recognize something else. A lot of causes deserve funding and support. The Global Fund is mobilizing money because it works.
Since 2002, programmes supported by the Fund have saved 5.7 million lives.
Every day, 4,000 men, women and children who might have died, don't.
There are few areas of public policy where the world can see such a direct correlation between investment and results.
As if this were not enough, this funding also brings us within reach of major health breakthroughs.
We are headed toward the finish line in our push to eliminate deaths from malaria by 2015 – to triumph over one of the world's most ancient killers.
We are also in a position to virtually end the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
However, the demand for funding will outstrip even the important commitments made today.
That means we must continue to mobilize more resources, more will, more quickly.
We must seek more innovation in funding, policy and delivery.
And we must continue to expand the coalition of partners contributing to these extraordinary efforts.
But for now, I can say that we have taken a major step forward.
This Global Fund Replenishment is a concrete manifestation of global solidarity that moves us closer to achieving our Millennium Development Goals.
This work is not just about replenishing the fund; it is about replenishing hope and dignity in people's lives.
Thank you very much for your support.
Q: On behalf of the United Nations Correspondents' Association, welcome to this press conference. I have a question for the Secretary-General. You said that we must seek innovative sources of financing. What does it mean exactly?
SG: We cannot always depend on public funds. Many Governments are now experiencing belt tightening austerity programmes, so leaders in the G-8 and G-20 have discussed how we can mobilize the resources necessary for climate change, global health, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, This idea of innovative financing has come out. We do not have any clear definitive formula or modality on this. I hope this will be continuously discussed among the world's leaders. As you have seen in several cases like the initiative by France for UNITAID, where they surcharged additional fare on airplane tickets for providing money for medicines and sanitation support. This is the kind of innovative source of financing. But there may be some other sources of financing.
Q: Secretary-General, would you consider the Global Fund to be a possible vehicle for your maternal and child health strategy?
SG: We will have to see. There is always a core relationship interconnected in my global strategy for women and children, and also this Global Fund for Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. I don't know how much these monies will be fungible for each other, but, strengthening this capacity and our efforts here and there, that will certainly raise the capacity of the international community with whatever funds there may be. This is a common effort.