Secretary-General, Addressing Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Hails United Nations Record of Partnership with Private Sector

7 June 2010

Secretary-General, Addressing Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Hails United Nations Record of Partnership with Private Sector

7 June 2010
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, Addressing Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis


and Malaria, Hails United Nations Record of Partnership with Private Sector


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as prepared for delivery, in Washington, D.C., today, 7 June:

Thank you, Mr. [John] Tedstrom, for your kind introduction.  I am delighted to be here.

And thank you all.  Thank you for your work with the Global Fund to scale up access to anti-malarial drugs, for fighting the stigma of HIV in the workplace, for your part in launching the MassiveGood initiative.

I have just come from the Women Deliver meeting where we have unveiled a Draft Joint Action Plan to help Governments deliver on the promise of health for women and children.  This promise has been neglected for too long.  It is time for a decisive change in pace.  Here it is [holds up Joint Action Plan]:  our plan to accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health, to help us meet the Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015.  I ask you to read the plan and decide what you will do to contribute.

The United Nations appreciates your energy and commitment.  Partnership is in our common interest — in building a better world, and in building a better workforce. 

Just look at what partnerships have meant for our fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.  New HIV infections have decreased by 17 per cent since 2001.  Our work on TB has saved an estimated 6 million lives.  We have financed more than 90 per cent of the bed nets we need to fight malaria.

These successes are attributed to partnerships among all actors.  The theme of your conference, “Work Smarter”, highlights our opportunity to now take these partnerships to the next level.  We need to work smarter by utilizing our networks to reach more people — by acknowledging our comparative strengths.  By eliminating duplication and promoting efficiency.  Working smarter means saving more lives.  And we need to save many more lives.

Huge gaps remain:  For every two people who start anti-HIV treatment, there are five new HIV infections.  Four thousand five hundred people die from TB every day.  Every day!  And every 45 seconds, a child dies of malaria.  Unless we dramatically accelerate our efforts, our efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goal will be at risk. 

I am convening a Millennium Development Goals summit of global leaders in New York in September.  I will ask Governments to come up with a practical and results-oriented plan, with concrete steps and timelines.  My most important message is that we can meet the goals by 2015 — with the right commitment and the right policies.

Three points will be crucial moving forward.  First, we must be steadfast.  Last week, I visited an AIDS clinic in Uganda, where the remarkable Dr. Peter Mugyenyi has pioneered treatment for HIV/AIDS patients.  Partly due to his efforts, Uganda was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to register a drop in adult national HIV prevalence.  The number of people on treatment has doubled in the past two years.

Just as important:  Dr. Mugyenyi told me that treatment for HIV/AIDS had major benefits for all patients.  Deaths in children who were not affected by HIV/AIDS also dropped by 83 per cent.

It was a timely reminder that treatment for HIV/AIDS helps us to address all our health and development challenges.  The Millennium Development Goals are indivisible. Our work for one can only help to advance our work for all the Goals.  Funding for the AIDS response, including through a successful replenishment of the Global Fund, must be sustained.

Second:  contributions and responsibilities must be clearly defined.  The business community must bring top quality expertise, technology and management skills.  Governments and multilateral organizations must ensure that the best programmes are prioritized and sustained.  Civil society must help make sure that policies and programmes reach the most distant, isolated communities.  The next generation of public-private partnerships will be based on the priorities of developing countries.  National ownership is the only route to ensure sustainability.

Third, we must produce concrete results.  That means building capacity, delivering services more efficiently, changing attitudes and policies, and eliminating stigma and discrimination.  We know that partnerships help to make CEOs and public servants better leaders.  Partnerships can also improve public perception of brands and programmes.  But the main point of our partnership is to improve the health of families, communities and countries.  We must stay focused on creating the highest possible value:  saving lives.

The United Nations continues to confront the world’s crises head on, relying on strong partnerships with Governments, businesses, multilateral organizations and civil society.  We have a proud and growing record of achievement working with the private sector.  The United Nations Global Compact has become the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative.  It has promoted partnerships between the United Nations and the business community in 135 countries. 

I hope many of you will attend the Global Compact’s tenth anniversary summit in New York in two weeks’ time.  It will be a timely opportunity to share some of the new and innovative approaches that will be generated here today and tomorrow.

I wish you a very successful conference.  And I look forward to even deeper partnerships between the United Nations and the private sector.

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.