Minister Cowen addressing Dublin AIDS Conference, calls for EU-US Global leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., today addressed the Dublin Conference “Breaking the barriers: the fight against HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia.”
In his speech Minister Cowen said the fight against HIV/AIDS was beyond the capacity of any one Government to solve.
Mr. Cowen praised the commitment of the US Government to the fight against HIV/AIDS and the significant additional resources it was devoting to the issue. He also highlighted the fact that the European Commission and the EU member States are collectively the world’s largest donor of development assistance, the largest donor to Africa, the largest trade partner of poor countries and the greatest source of debt relief.
Mr. Cowen said EU and the US should now join forces and assume global leadership in the fight against the disease. Future EU-US cooperation in the fight against HIV/AIDS should be a serious item in the EU’s dialogue with the US.
“The EU and the US should coordinate more at the country level, particularly in sub Saharan Africa.
We should work together to ensure that the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB is adequately resourced.
We should collaborate on the search for an AIDS vaccine.
We should cooperate on the supply of life saving drugs to the infected in the poorest countries.
We should jointly talk to African leaders about their needs.
Together the EU and the US can accelerate the global response to the AIDS epidemic. Working with the Governments of the most affected countries, with the UN system and with the Global Fund, we can bring new hope to Africa.”
Mr. Cowen said the Dublin Conference was an important first step in strengthening regional cooperation in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He said:
“It will also be necessary to follow up the Dublin Declaration with concrete action.
Ireland will ensure that the Declaration is circulated, and followed up, in all relevant regional fora, including the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Economic Commission for Europe and within the institutions of the EU. We will also request the CIS Secretariat to promote the Declaration among the CIS States.
For Ireland, this Conference has been an expression of our faith in the capacity of Governments to act collectively in the face of a common threat.
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