Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates.
Partners in Population and Development (PPD), an inter-governmental alliance of 26 countries, congratulates this assembly for adopting the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: On the Fast-Track to Accelerate the Fight against HIV and to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030.
This declaration is a commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. PPD joins the member countries in their pledge to intensify efforts towards the goal of comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support programmes that will help to significantly reduce new infections, increase life expectancy and quality of life. It will also strive for fulfillment of human rights and dignity of all people vulnerable to and made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS.
From all evidences, HIV and AIDS continues to pose a global emergency along with being a serious threat to the development, progress and stability of communities and societies across the world. It requires an exceptional, coordinated and comprehensive global response recognizing that the spread of HIV is often a cause and consequence of poverty and inequality. Hence an effective HIV and AIDS response becomes an inseparable component of the strategy aimed at the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Our past experiences make a compelling case for adopting a holistic and more integrated systemic approach to ensuring access to quality people-centred health-care. This is embedded in the promotion of right to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health and wellbeing, universal access to sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Beijing Platform for Action.
PPD is a partner of the Secretary-General’s new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which continues to galvanize global efforts to significantly reduce the number of maternal, adolescent, newborn and under-five child deaths. In support of this ‘Global Strategy’ and to secure commitment of member countries, PPD hosted an International Inter-Ministerial Conference in Dhaka in November 2015 entitled “Every Woman Every Child, Every Adolescent: A South to South Perspective on Survive, Thrive and Transform”.
PPD notes with deep concern the unacceptably low rates of testing and treatment coverage among children in developing countries including lack of technical support in elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. An equally grave concern is that AIDS-related deaths are the second leading cause of death in adolescents globally. Grave concern still exists globally as women and girls are still the most affected by the epidemic and that their ability to protect themselves from HIV continues to be compromised.
PPD reiterates that ODA support will continue to remain crucial in the fight against AIDS and urges that ODA providers re-affirm their respective ODA commitments of achieving achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of GNI. We also underscore the importance of enhanced international cooperation, particularly South to South cooperation to support the Member States to achieve the target on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Beyond its many benefits, South-South cooperation is now fostering a spirit of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South, based on their shared experiences and objectives guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, non-conditionality, and mutual benefit. It is important to restate that it is a complement, not a substitute, to North-South cooperation. South-South cooperation is now a natural element of international cooperation and its potential of contribution in fighting HIV and AIDS needs to be optimally harnessed.
As part of its commitment to promote South to South Cooperation in the area of HIV and AIDS response, the Partners in Population and Development (PPD), along with the Government of Bangladesh co-hosted the 12th International congress on AIDS in Asia Pacific. The outcome document known as the ‘Dhaka Declaration’ is fully consistent with the Political Declaration adopted at this session and it calls upon the national governments to : i) scale up, accelerate and universalize ART coverage and improve access to treatment for those in need; ii) Improve access to HIV medicines, treatment services and commodities delivery to People Living with HIV/AIDS ; iii) Request the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) to continue to support South-South Cooperation (SSC) for HIV/AIDS response.
I thank you for your attention.