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Global Fund Exhibition "Access to Life" opens in Japan - Prime Minister of Japan addresses opening ceremony

05 September 2010

Prime Minister of Japan addresses opening ceremony

Tokyo – The Global Fund today announced the opening of its “Access to Life” exhibition in Japan, a photo gallery that documents the transformative impact that AIDS treatment has had on individuals around the world.

The opening ceremony was addressed by Prime Minister of Japan, Hon. Naoto Kan, followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the Global Fund, UNAIDS, the Gates Foundation, people living with the disease, and Magnum Photos, to discuss the achievements of our generation in response to the shared global challenges of AIDS, as well as the challenges that will continue to be faced in the future.

“This photo exhibition has given me the chance to share with all of you my commitment to doing my best in providing greater support to the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to the activities of the Global Fund,” said Mr. Naoto Kan. “The biggest task now for the world is for people to help people, which is the real meaning of creating a network of human security.”

During the late 1990s, Prime Minister Naoto Kan witnessed how newly introduced drugs were dramatically reducing the number of people dying of AIDS, and how people living with the disease were actively returning to life in society. Mr. Kan was impressed to learn that expectant mothers could start treatment right away and virtually avoid passing on the virus to their babies.

“We are sincerely grateful to Mr. Kan for showing his personal commitment to global health and to the work of the Global Fund,” said Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “I’d like to thank Japan for its commitment to the Global Fund and we look forward to its leadership on health issues at the MDG Summit in New York later this month”.

2010 is a decisive year for the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals, a set of ambitious targets set by nations in 2000, among others to reduce child mortality, improve maternal mortality, and combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Due to important progress made in the recent years, it is now possible to add elimination of transmission of HIV from mother child to these goals. However, this will only be possible if funding for the coming years is secured this year.