HE. Mr. Yusra Khan
Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
the Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly
under agenda item 10.
Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment
New York, 11 June 2012
Allow me first of all to thank you for organizing this meeting. It reminds us of the successful High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS convened by your predecessor in June last year.
At that meeting, the General Assembly adopted another historical document entitled “Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS”. We therefore would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on achieving the targets of 2011 Political Declaration.
Indonesia aligns itself with the statement delivered by Cambodia on behalf of ASEAN.
We gather here today to advance our common fight against HIV/AIDS. To this date, HIV virus has killed more than 25 million people worldwide. Some 75,000 people are said to contract HIV each day.
In some countries and communities, HIV has raised the specter of a “lost generation”, a generation where the youth are doomed before reaching or completing their productive age. In the short and medium terms, HIV death rate will continue to climb because we still have not found a vaccine or a cure for AIDS.
Before that, the global community had been struggling for 20 years to find a way to bring the HIV epidemic under control. While there had been periodic breakthroughs, it was not yet at all clear if and when the rising tide of HIV infection would be reduced and, if possible, eliminated.
However, the last five years have provided clear evidence that we can prevent infection, save lives, and improve the quality of life for millions of people threatened, affected, and infected by the HIV virus.
Learning from global and our own experience, we must do four things to keep up this momentum:
Firstly, we need to learn from past experiences and share best practices;
Secondly, we must focus our efforts and our resources on strategically important interventions;
Thirdly, we have to address the critical social and human rights issues which reduce people’s access to the information and services they need to protect themselves from infection; and,
Lastly, we must work in broad partnerships bringing together the knowledge, influence, and expertise of the many players in this vast human drama.
As specified by the Political Declaration, Indonesia has worked hard to achieve the internationally agreed goals and moved toward achievement of universal access. We are not there yet but we have made much progress in the past decade.
We have laid a solid foundation for important networks of collaboration and developed partnerships which have helped increase coverage, raise effectiveness and moved us toward self-reliance and the sustainability of our response.
Nevertheless, our work is far from over and we are well aware of the challenges ahead. Too many people remain unreached and unserved. Too many people are still victims of ignorance and counter-productive stigma and discrimination. Without increasing prevention and services for them, we will not be able to bring the epidemic under control.
Even though psychological barriers remain, we are seeing progress. Many people are now brave enough to speak out and share their stories. They are involved in finding solutions to the difficulties that AIDS brings to their lives.
It is therefore my hope that greater collaboration and partnerships will result from this important meeting. It is only by empowering people and strengthening networks that we will bring the HIV epidemic under control. If we work together and work harder, we can achieve universal access for AIDS prevention, care, support and treatment in the near future.
Given the size of Indonesia and the complexity of the AIDS response, the situation will not be brought under control using only one approach or reaching only one segment of the population. We must all be part of the efforts and need to promote a comprehensive, compassionate and inclusive approach.
In the face of these challenges, fighting AIDS in Indonesia is still very much a strenuous task. The task becoming more difficult because the resource gaps in funding for activities and projects to combat HIV/AIDS remain fairly wide.
Success will also require us to improve and strengthen our partnership response. Government agencies are fully integrated into the national response. Collaboration with civil society, such as faith-based organizations, communities of key population and people living with HIV, is increasing and showing good results.
They are key partners in our national efforts and have full agendas of their own. They also made considerable contribution to the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of our shared national efforts in combating HIV/AIDS.
I wish to assure you that our government and people will stay the course to accelerate the progress being made by our national response to eliminate HIV and AIDS. In this context, Indonesia lends its support to the draft decision to be adopted by this Meeting as part of our commitment towards achieving the MDGs and formulating the post-2015 UN development agenda.
Let us move forward from today as one body to improve the lives of friends and family members who are already HIV positive and protect our children from infection.
Thank you, Mr. President
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org