After 20 Years, ‘Magnitude of Crisis Finally Sinking In,’ Annan Says
While "global progress in facing up to the [HIV/AIDS] pandemic has been unconscionably slow ... the magnitude of the crisis is finally beginning to sink in" with the international community, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a statement released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the first reporting of the disease. Noting that a General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS will meet in a few weeks, Annan said that the international community must "galvanize ... [this] sense of collective resolve and collective possibility ... and build a response that matches the challenge." Arguing that part of the response to HIV/AIDS is the creation of the Global AIDS and Health Fund, Annan said that the fund will "encourage and energize [governments and private donors] to act." Annan concluded, "[The special U.N.] session will be a test for all of us who call ourselves the international community. I am sure ... there will be widespread support for the fund and that it will be up and running soon thereafter. And I believe this year will go down in history as the year we turned the tide" (Annan statement, 6/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.