Statement by the President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Peter Thomson, at the G.A. meeting on Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the political declarations on HIV/AIDS
1 June 2017
UNAIDS Executive Director Sidibé,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Last June, leaders gathered here in the General Assembly Hall to adopt the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS.
The Political Declaration put in place a roadmap for the international community to achieve our global aim of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Today, we once again come together – this time to mark the first annual review of our progress to implement the 2016 Political Declaration.
A blunt assessment would say that to date our achievements have been mixed.
While important advances have been made, including scaled-up access to anti-retroviral treatments, and a decline in the numbers of children born with the virus, the scale of our shortcomings remains of deep concern.
HIV prevention rates among adults around the world have largely stalled, with the number of new infections actually increasing in some regions.
Almost 1,800 young people a day are being newly infected with HIV, with young women in particular being at higher risk.
If we are to succeed in ending the epidemic of AIDS by 2030, of securing healthy lives and well-being for all, and of achieving the 2030 Agenda, we must scale up our efforts to meet the Fast Track targets to fight HIV and AIDS, as reflected in the 2016 Political Declaration.
To do so, we must pursue a comprehensive and inclusive approach.
We must provide education, information and services to people living with HIV, to young, vulnerable and marginalized people, to women and girls, and to those at most at risk of being infected.
We must protect the human rights of all persons without distinction.
We must counter stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and populations at higher risk of infection, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender persons, and people who inject drugs.
We must build on the tremendous advances we have already seen in science, technology and innovation to better support people living with HIV, and to find a path towards a vaccine or cure.
We must harness the power of all stakeholders to meet this global challenge, by strengthening already established strategic partnerships as well as creating new ones that include Governments, affected communities, civil society, the private sector, academics, scientists, and philanthropists. And to this end, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is the prime example of a partnership that seeks to galvanize both multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder action.
We must also leverage the integrated nature of the SDGs by building on the synergies between our global AIDS response and our efforts to achieve universal health coverage and well-being, and the implementation of the other SDG’s as relevant.
And, finally, we must provide adequate funding to meet these objectives, including by reversing the decrease in international support, and closing the US$7 billion funding gap for the global AIDS response from all sources, public and private, domestic and international.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
We have before us a critical window of opportunity to end the AIDS epidemic.
But to do so we must take action now. Let us therefore seize the opportunity of today’s review to commit to accelerating our efforts to implement the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to creating a future where HIV and AIDS are consigned to the sorrows of the past.
I thank you.