Population and AIDS
Statement by H.E. Mr. Masakazu Hamachi Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs At the United Nations High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS
9th June, 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen,
35 years have passed since AIDS was first recognized and reported in 1981. Our knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS at the time were woefully poor. People feared this new infectious disease as "incurable and untreatable". Not only was the experience of HIV/AIDS itself painful and inexorable for those living with the disease and their families, but the discrimination and stigma heaped upon the infected added cruel insult to already grievous injury.
Today, however, we have a chance to realize the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic once and for all. Indeed, we have achieved outstanding progress. With the support of organizations such as the Global Fund, increased access to anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs has greatly reduced both the number of deaths from AIDS-related illness and the number of new HIV infections.
Japan has been a longstanding advocate of the concept of human security. Human security seeks to protect the vital foundations of the lives of all individuals in a way that ensures freedom and supports self-realization through the development of individual human potential. Based on this guiding principle, Japan wishes to contribute to international effort to address global health challenges.
One of the most effective means to ensure human security is the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Last year, the international community adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the goal of UHC. In order to achieve UHC, we need social restructuring, and world leaders must commit to the principle of "leaving no one behind" from the benefits of health care.
At the previous High Level Meetings on HIV/AIDS, world leaders committed to accelerating efforts to achieve universal access to comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS. Such commitments are best realized through the achievement of UHC.
In order to realize the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we depend on the leadership of the heads of delegation who are gathered here today. We should create a world where HIV prevention-including condom use-education, diagnosis, treatment, care and support are universally accessible, where HIV/TB co-infection is managed, where mother-to-child transmission of HIV is prevented, and where there is neither prejudice nor discrimination. To realize such a world, we should aim to achieve UHC.
Furthermore, it is crucial to address the needs of those who are particularly vulnerable, such as women and girls and other key populations, including MSM, sex workers and people using drugs who are the most severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We must realize a society that protects and supports all vulnerable individuals and people living with HIV. We are living together.
To this end, health systems should mobilize large financial and human resources, including those in developing countries. Japan welcomes the recent trend in developing countries to place a higher priority on health sector development and increase domestic resource mobilization. It is also important that we forge an enhanced international framework to support those developing countries which are strengthening their health systems.
Japan has long played a major role in global health. At the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in 2000, Japan introduced infectious disease control to the Summit agenda for the first time in the G8/G7's history. Through this action, Japan paved the way for the establishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. During the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in 2008, the G8 agreed on actions towards health systems strengthening.
Last month, Japan hosted the G7 Ise Shima Summit. Under Japan's presidency, the G7 committed to concrete actions to advance global health as elaborated in the G7 Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health, highlighting that health is the foundation of economic prosperity and security. The G7 specifically committed to promoting Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and to reinforcing the global health architecture to strengthen response to public health emergencies. Before the Summit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the Government of Japan's pledge to provide 800 million USD to the Global Fund in the coming years.
Japan has been actively supporting the efforts of developing countries both bilaterally and multilaterally to strengthen their health systems. I hereby reaffirm that Japan intends to achieve its commitments to the international community and to contribute even further to addressing the world's global health challenges.
Thank you for your attention.