Director-General

"3 by 5" Partners Meeting

Geneva, Switzerland
11 May 2004

Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to this very important meeting. I'm delighted to see you all here.

Less than 24 hours ago, Paul Martin, the Prime Minister of Canada, announced a grant of 100 million Canadian dollars to support our work to reach "3 by 5". This wonderful news brings hope to millions. Yet again, the Canadian Government has demonstrated leadership, vision and commitment in the most practical way. Three years ago, Canadian funding got the Global TB Drug Facility off the ground. This announcement does the same for "3 by 5".

With the recent agreements on the Three Ones and core principles, we can use the energy and creativity at our disposal in a more systematic way. Fixed drug combinations and simplified treatment approaches that are now known to be effective were developed by some of our partners present in this room today.

Innovations of this kind are helping to build a new environment for long-term prevention activities. It is an environment in which, among many other things, counselling and testing can be part of routine health care examinations, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission is available systematically through maternal health services. At last we can work towards a continuum of care, which includes accelerated prevention and simplified treatment interventions. Many communities are trapped in a vicious circle, in which disease and poverty accelerate each other. We are now in a position, through the delivery of AIDS prevention and treatment services, to set in motion the opposite process. In this virtuous circle, restored health gives communities the strength to avoid and prevent infection, and this leads to further improvement in health and in the health services.

Many communities are trapped in a vicious circle, in which disease and poverty accelerate each other. We are now in a position, through the delivery of AIDS prevention and treatment services, to set in motion the opposite process. In this virtuous circle, restored health gives communities the strength to avoid and prevent infection, and this leads to further improvement in health and in the health services.

All of us want to see our efforts contributing to renewed and strengthened health systems. These will:

  • provide prevention and treatment services that reinforce each other;
  • be staffed by health workers competent in a wide range of disease control activities;
  • and make full use of the talents and resources of the community.

This afternoon we are launching the World Health Report for 2004. It is entitled Changing history because it provides a comprehensive picture of the global HIV/AIDS situation and how it can be changed. During the World Health Assembly next week, there will be a Round Table on HIV/AIDS. In July there is the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok.

This meeting is a sign of gathering momentum. Meetings and reports alone do not save lives. But, by sharing knowledge, promoting cooperation and building momentum, they make a vital contribution to the work of saving lives and restoring communities.

Please make the most of this opportunity. Millions of people are hoping and working for your success.

Last night, I called Stephen Lewis to discuss the support of Canada for "3 by 5", and celebrate the funding announcement. My words to you are the same I said to him; "Let's make this happen. Let's save lives."

Thank you.

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