Commissioners begin mapping the route from AIDS to sustainable health
28 June 2013
Some of the world’s most prominent leaders, thinkers, and activists in the AIDS response are convening this weekend in Lilongwe, Malawi for two days of dialogue focused on defining the role of the AIDS response in the post-2015 agenda. The Commissioners, participating in the first meeting of the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission: From AIDS to Sustainable Health will also identify lessons learned from the AIDS response for the future of global health and development.
“Today we have the tools we need to confront and overcome AIDS and confine it to the history books where it belongs,” said President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Commission co-Chair. “We are at a crucial point and must seize the opportunity before us. We must take action now.”
The UNAIDS and Lancet Commission was launched in May 2013 in anticipation of the world’s 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. As new goals for the next era are developed, the Commission will work to ensure that momentum generated by the AIDS response over the past decade is sustained and extended. Commission members represent a wide range of experiences and viewpoints, and include heads of state, policy makers, people living with HIV, development experts, scientists, young people, AIDS advocates, and private sector leaders.
Today we have the tools we need to confront and overcome AIDS and confine it to the history books where it belongs. We are at a crucial point and must seize the opportunity before us. We must take action now.
President Joyce Banda of Malawi
“The shared commitment and innovative approaches piloted in the HIV arena must continue to define the global agenda around and beyond AIDS for years to come,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “I am thrilled to join our diverse and accomplished group of Commissioners in Lilongwe––their insight will be invaluable in shaping the future of the response to HIV and the broader global health and development agendas.”
The Lilongwe meeting will feature a series of three roundtable discussions, each focused around a set of strategic health and development challenges and opportunities in the post-2015 era. Commissioners will debate how the lessons of the AIDS response should inform efforts to:
- Promote both global and domestic investments in health as driver of human well-being, productivity, and national wealth
- Ensure innovation and more equitable and secure access to medicines and other health commodities
- Generate demand for and equitable access to health services
These discussions will form the basis of a Commission Report, which will establish specific goals and milestones to be achieved over the coming months.
“This is an important conversation taking place at a pivotal time,” said Cristina Jade Peña, Ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and member of the Commission. “As the global community establishes its post-2015 agenda, we cannot afford to be distracted or lose focus on the AIDS response. Today’s HIV positive youth need to have an active role formulating and implementing policy that will lead the world towards a dynamic, sustainable AIDS-free tomorrow.”
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