New York, 8 June 2011

President Kagame on Wednesday, June 8 delivered the Rwanda statement at the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in New York, calling for stronger coordination and collaboration between member states in finding global solutions in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Over 3000 people are attending the meeting scheduled to end this Friday. The meeting is taking place 10 years after the historic 2001 United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS, and the 2006 signing of the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

President Kagame welcomed the UN Security Council resolution passed on Tuesday, regarding the impact of HIV/AIDS on international peace and security. Highlighting the importance of the meeting in providing a platform for Member States to revisit the challenges faced and build on current progress, President Kagame said:

“It is time to galvanize Member States to commit to a transformative agenda that overcomes remaining barriers to an effective, equitable and sustainable response to HIV and AIDS. Where there have been combined efforts and continued financial resources, the results are there for all of us to see. Prevention has worked and treatment has saved lives

Calling for a ‘conscious leadership at all levels of the society’ in bid to combat the disease, President Kagame said:

“It is evident that no single country or government acting alone, can overcome this pandemic. We need a coordinated comprehensive approach that responds to all the aspects of the disease. What is abundantly clear is that investing in HIV prevention, treatment and care is not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. It has a positive knock-on effect in our social and economic development.”

President Kagame concluded by emphasizing that good health of all citizens of the world and the dignity of those infected or affected is a fundamental human right and that the resolve to fight against HIV/AIDS is a matter of social justice.

President Kagame acknowledged the leadership of the UN Secretary General, President of the UN General Assembly and the Executive Secretary of UNAIDS for continuing to put HIV/AIDS at the forefront of the global dialogue.

The year’s meeting has brought together over 30 Heads of State and Government. As the meeting comes to a conclusion this Friday, UN member states are expected to adopt a declaration that will guide country responses to HIV/AIDS over the next five years.