Today at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Secretary Clinton spoke of the shared responsibility of the world to defeat HIV/AIDS. At an event organized by African Union President Yayi of Benin, she highlighted growing African leadership against the disease — an encouraging development as we pursue the goal of an AIDS-free generation.
Secretary Clinton saluted African countries that are leading the way in meeting this shared responsibility. Some examples:
- Namibia now funds 50 percent of its national AIDS response, and is paying and overseeing a growing number of health workers formerly supported by the United States through our PEPFAR program.
- Under the Partnership Framework Implementation Plan it recently signed with the United States, South Africa is increasing the share of its national AIDS program that it funds from 71 percent to nearly 90 percent over the next five years.
- Rwanda has now taken oversight responsibility for over 30,000 patients on antiretroviral treatment at 70 sites.
These steps toward country ownership are crucial to ensure that these essential programs will be sustained. In emphasizing country ownership — including oversight, management, and ultimately funding of programs — the Secretary made it clear that United States is not talking about walking away from the shared responsibility. Our vision is of a continuing but renewed partnership with countries, supporting them in ensuring that their responses continue into the future, until their peoples’ HIV needs are met.
Remarks by President Yayi, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and other leaders demonstrated Africa’s growing commitment to lead. For her part, Secretary Clinton frankly acknowledged the challenges ahead for all parties involved, but also the unique opportunity before us. Addressing the other leaders present, the Secretary closed with this call to action — one which applies to all of us in the global community:
“So the steps that you are discussing here today represent measurable progress, but to deliver on that promise, the promise of this moment, we have to maintain the progress and build on it. If every nation devastated by HIV follows the example of many of the leaders in this room and steps up to shared responsibility, we won’t just keep up our momentum; we will accelerate our progress and move even faster toward the day when we can announce the birth of an AIDS-free generation.”