I’d like to take a moment to express so much heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Michel Sidibe and Debbi Birx and everyone who took part in creating the Global Plan of 2011.
Your outstanding work, leadership and vision has ensured that millions of mothers living with HIV have been kept alive and are now raising healthy children.
Only a few years ago, as I well recall, few people believed this could be possible, yet after only five years, we have clear proof that the measures taken to lay the foundation to end AIDS are working.
The UNAIDS 2016 Global Plan Progress Report outlines all the detailed achievements.
With the support and endorsement of everyone in this room, we are saving babies, saving mothers, strengthening communities and actually realising our collective goal towards ending the epidemic.
Michel and Debbi with their respective partners, have now offered us a new framework for the next step, that seeks to build upon the Global Plan’s impressive success, entitled…. “BE FREE”.
It is proven that collaborative effort really works and UNAIDS invites all of you to be part of this mission..
Country representatives – Implementers – Foundations – Businesses – Advocates and activists –– can all contribute and take part in implementing BE FREE.
As we’ve just heard, BE FREE has 3 important actions: that I’d like to share with you again.
START FREE – To ensure that the beginning of every child’s life can be HIV free…. We will complete the task of eliminating HIV transmission from mother-to-child – In this case we are almost there.
STAY FREE – This means preventing the cycle of new infections by providing young women and girls with the information and tools they need to stay healthy and alive.
AIDS FREE – To ensure that children who test HIV positive receive immediate access to treatment, giving them an opportunity to lead an AIDS free life.
Each individual country will obviously have their own approach, according to the scale and progress of their own local epidemic, finding meaningful ways to make it work.
Right now, we have a unique window of opportunity.. If it’s taken, we can truly create transformative change on the landscape of each of the 193 member states of the United Nations.
Let’s stand together and play to our strengths…
Fast tracking everyone’s investment and action on these 3 key efforts over the next four years is the way to end AIDS in children and youth – and the way to secure the end of AIDS by 2030.
Now is the time! Let’s commit…Let’s makes AIDS history!
Thank you very much.