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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of China, On HIV/AIDS At the 57th Session of the General Assembly

2002/11/08

Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation wishes to register its appreciation to the Secretary-General for the report and recommendations submitted under this agenda item.

Over the past two decades, the scourge of HIV/AIDS has been sprawling unchecked around the world, resulting in over 40 million infections and more than 21 million deaths.  It is projected that an additional 45 million people will be infected between 2002 and 2010.  HIV/AIDS poses a great challenge to social development, economic growth, and political stability around the world and, for that matter, the safety and survival of humankind.

Mr. President,

As a global crisis, HIV/AIDS requires a concerted response through global action.  At a series of major conferences, including the Millennium Summit, the World Summit for Social Development and the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic was put high on their agenda.  At its special session on HIV/AIDS held last year, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, setting out the goals, tasks and responsibilities in the international cooperation against HIV/AIDS.  Now, the Declaration has become an important document guiding our struggle against HIV/AIDS.  Many countries have developed national prevention strategies in line with the Declaration.  International organizations, governmental bodies and civil society have adopted a series of positive measures in the fields of legislation, mobilization of resources, extensive provision of drugs for prevention and treatment and increase of public awareness.  What merits particular mention is the fact that the Global Fund,
which was established at the beginning of this year only, has attracted over $ 2 billion of pledges and approved the disbursement of $616 million of related relief funds to low- and middle-income countries for the next five years.  Nonetheless, the figure is still a far cry from the annual target of $10 billion.

We still have a long way to go in combating HIV/AIDS.  As the Secretary-General points out in his report, due to ineffective implementation, inadequate funding and shortage of medical supplies, progress in stemming the epidemic lags far behind its unrelenting advance and destructive trend.  In this connection, I wish to make a few observations on the international cooperation on HIV/AIDS.

I. Prevention and treatment should go hand-in-hand effectively in combating HIV/AIDS

While prevention is fundamental, treatment is the key.  We should therefore take a two-pronged approach by making a concerted effort to push forward the targets and implementing the tasks set forth in the Declaration for 2003 and 2005.  They include formulating national strategies for combating HIV/AIDS, incorporating them into n