Late last week in Geneva, Martin Dinham, a former Director General in the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng, Health Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, were elected Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. They were voted in as the Board passed a comprehensive package of reforms to ensure that the Fund can continue to fulfill its mission to combat these three devastating diseases. As part of its multi-year pledge in support of the Fund, the United States called for strong reforms to improve the Fund’s transparency, accountability, and fiduciary controls. I am pleased that my fellow Board members took the United States’ call to action seriously.
Through the Global Fund Board, we have achieved agreement on key reforms and have insisted upon rapid and aggressive implementation of these reforms, including reaffirmation that the Inspector General has full independence; adoption of comprehensive reform measures to strengthen accountability, transparency, and performance; and more strategic allocation of resources to ensure they get to those with the greatest need.
The Fund plays an essential role in allowing implementing countries to develop effective and sustainable responses to the devastation wrought by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Transparency and accountability are vital to this effort. The Fund must now build on the positive steps forward the Board has taken at this meeting and implement its comprehensive action plan that includes specific targets and timelines. In the meantime, we will continue to hold the Fund accountable for securing these needed reforms.
We also look forward to the report from the High-Level Independent Review Panel on Financial Oversight, co-chaired by former Botswana President Festus Mogae and former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, who briefed the Global Fund Board on the progress of their study. We expect that the recommendations of these distinguished global leaders in health will further solidify actions required to make the Fund the strong, accountable and transparent organization that it must be.