On December 3, 2018, ONE hosted a reception to celebrate World AIDS Day on Parliament Hill and we were fortunate enough to have Senator Mobina Jaffer, a life-long advocate of women, the first African-born Senator, and a strong ally in the fight against HIV and AIDS, supporting ONE in making this event a success. Below are the remarks by Stuart Hickox, Canada Director at ONE:
Welcome, everyone! And thank you to all our special guests – Minister Bibeau, Ambassador Rispal and doctors Montaner and Presern – for joining the ONE Campaign tonight as we look ahead to the Sixth Replenishment of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – in Lyon, France in October of 2019.
Many of us in the room remember the 5th Replenishment – in Montreal in 2016 – and so I absolutely feel a shout-out is due to some of the sector organizations and advocates who were critical to making that gathering such a great Canadian success story.
- The Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)
- RESULTS Canada
- The Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN)
- The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS)
Thank you for being here tonight and thank you for everything you will do over the next ten months to ensure the success of the Sixth Replenishment Conference.
The Global Fund has saved 27 million lives over its first 17 years in operation, making it one of the most effective health organizations on the planet.
We decided to put this little gathering together tonight because Canada’s leadership has been an important milestone in the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria. Ambassador Rispal, we also wanted to share this moment with you because we feel strongly that our experience here in 2016 stands as a model for what your country should do in 2019.
And so, in short, there are three essential elements of a successful replenishment:
- Commitment and leadership from the very top. One of the things that impressed us most was Minister Bibeau’s deep involvement and also to hear that Prime Minister Trudeau was personally involved in the effort to bring other countries to the table.
- Engagement of the community – civil society organizations, like the ones here tonight, leading researchers like Dr. Montaner and Dr. Presern, and organizations like ONE are essential because the kind of investment that is required to end AIDS, TB and Malaria needs broad public support. These are complex issues and it’s our job to tell this story.
- A clear message: And here’s a suggestion: AIDS is not done. And neither are we! In 2018, AIDS remains the number one killer of young women – that’s more young women than any other disease, including breast cancer and heart disease.
Last year alone, 1.8 million people were newly infected with HIV. On the TV screens, you can see the number of people who have been infected since this reception started – three people every minute. This number is shocking: 3 people are affected by AIDS every minute. This is unacceptable.
This year, it is more important than ever that we remain united in this fight! – politicians, civil society organizations, and researchers – because we are not done. We are only short of 20% of the investment needed to reach key targets in the countries the most affected by this virus.
There’s a really simple way to look at this. In 2019, when we’re considering AIDS, the greatest feat that this virus has ever pulled off would be to make people think it’s no longer a threat.
Ambassador Rispal, we are proud of the work we have accomplished together in this fight and as Canadians, we humbly offer our support and best wishes. Ambassador, put simply, we are with you because …
AIDS isn’t done. And neither are we.
Some photos from the evening: