30 November 2012
Premier of China Welcomes Global Fund General Manager For World AIDS Day Celebration
BEIJING – China and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria marked a new stage in their partnership today by drawing senior leaders together with health workers and civil society partners to celebrate the achievements and identify the challenges of joint action to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, Premier Wen Jiabao led the special gathering inside the headquarters of the central government in downtown Beijing and welcomed Gabriel Jaramillo, General Manager of the Global Fund, as a special guest.
“China and the Global Fund have been cooperating well in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said Premier Wen. He pledged that China do more to fight the spread of AIDS, both by working with international organizations and by investing in anti-AIDS efforts within China.
Mr. Jaramillo praised China’s leadership in fighting HIV, as the country assumes a more prominent role in global health efforts. He cited China’s generosity and its willingness to help other countries, as well as its growing commitment to domestic initiatives, as an example for all nations to follow.
“I wish other world leaders could see this event today,” said Mr. Jaramillo. “It’s political leadership that recognizes the role of civil society in fighting HIV, and that’s leadership that knows how to make things work.”
Premier Wen, seated beneath a 10-meter-wide painting of the Great Wall, opened the meeting by saying that he had known some of the participants for many years. He appeared engaged and knowledgeable about HIV and AIDS, and warmly greeted doctors, researchers, people living with HIV and children orphaned by AIDS who attended the meeting.
Earlier this week, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang met with several AIDS activist groups in Beijing, recognizing the critical role that community-based organizations play in reaching populations with HIV and AIDS, and promising greater government and financial cooperation.
That development followed years of hard work by community-based organizations to gain government support, partly by taking a role in a Country Coordinating Mechanism set up to apply for Global Fund grants. In many countries, the Country Coordinating Mechanism is an effective model for getting government officials, health workers and non-governmental organizations to work together to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS.
Premier Wen is the highest-level official in China ever to meet with the Global Fund. In addition to Mr. Jaramillo, Mark Edington, Head of the Grant Management Division, also attended the meeting in the central government headquarters, known as Zhongnanhai.
When Zhang Zhengwen, Director of AIDS Treatment and Prevention in Hubei Province, addressed the gathering, he suggested that everyone see the virus as an enemy, but see people infected with the virus as friends.
Premier Wen said that great challenges still lie ahead, and that there is a long way to go to beat such a serious epidemic, particularly in certain regions and among more vulnerable groups, and reminded everyone to recognize the long-term nature and complexity of the task.