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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Statement

Secretary-General's video message to International AIDS Conference, 18-23 July

Vienna, Austria, 18 July 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I send my very best wishes to the International AIDS Conference.

Let me pay tribute in particular to those among you who are living with HIV.

Your courage has given strength to people around the world.

You have helped people suffering as a result of stigma and discrimination to emerge from the shadows -- and to seek not only treatment, but their fundamental human rights.

We have made significant progress in the global response.

New infections have declined. Access to treatment has expanded. Decades-old travel restrictions are being lifted.

But too many obstacles remain.

Some governments are cutting back on their response to AIDS. This should be a cause for great concern to us all.

We must ensure that our recent gains are not reversed.

We must raise additional resources for other areas that have been neglected for far too long – maternal health in particular.

We must also recognize the intrinsic links between AIDS and our work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – especially women's and children's health.

The MDGs are indivisible and should never be pitted against each other.

So let us say again:

No new HIV infections.

No more discrimination.

No more AIDS-related deaths.

Health and development for all.

And as this conference proclaims: rights here, right now.

This is a bold vision.

To realize it, universal access must remain our beacon -- access to life-saving drugs... access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Next year marks a milestone.

Ten years since the UN Declaration of Commitment.

Five years since our Political Decaration.

It will also be a year in which the General Assembly convenes for a crucially important meeting aimed at strengthening the global response further still.

I look forward to your contributions. I look forward to working with you to conquer this disease once and for all.

Thank you.


Statements on 18 July 2010