International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.
Paris, July 23 2012.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
Halting the AIDS epidemic is possible. First, through teamwork on the part of the health community, international organizations, AIDS associations and nongovernmental organizations.
Second, by further stepping up our efforts to develop a vaccine and by further expanding prevention. And by facilitating access to testing in order to reduce the incidence of infection in all countries, regardless of how the disease is spread, and by offering universal access to treatment to decrease the risk of transmission. And finally, by focusing our efforts on protecting the most vulnerable populations. Solidarity among nations is crucial, and it implies the richest countries’ involvement in assisting the most impoverished.
This commitment—which I want to renew on behalf of France—will enable us to embark on the second, and hardest, part of our road: treating not just 7 million people, but 15 million AIDS sufferers.
Since the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and that of UNITAID, France has played a large part in this common endeavor. It is the second-largest financial contributor to the Global Fund and intends to both continue and diversify its participation. We want to create additional, innovative forms of financing. That is the aim of the tax on financial transactions that my country decided to implement beginning on August 1 of this year.
At the G20 and Rio summits, I proposed expanding this tax to the European and global levels, to generate new income to fight AIDS.
In a context that is, I realize, economically and financially difficult, the commitment of nations and donors is crucial. But it is with young people that we will win the battle. They are the first victims of the disease. With them, therefore, we hold out hope for its defeat.
That, dear friends, is what I have come to say. It is now up to us to halt the AIDS epidemic. If we decide to do it, we can!