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Statement of the United States and the European Union on Communicable Diseases in Africa

December 18, 2000

At the Queluz Summit on May 31, 2000 the U.S. and EU made a commitment to help stem and roll back the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in Africa, and to address their severe economic, social and personal consequences. The scope of the problem requires a multi-faceted approach and the mobilisation of significant resources. As proof of this commitment, the U.S. and EU have dramatically increased financial resources dedicated to combating these scourges. Together we are now waging the battle against these diseases on all of the major fronts.

The U.S. and EU agree that the response to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria must be placed within a broad multisectoral framework of development aiming at the overall objective of alleviating poverty and to ensure a lasting impact of any specific action to combat HIV/ AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The U.S. and EU call upon countries to address and incorporate fully the health and development implications of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the elaboration of their poverty reduction strategies and programs.

The U.S. and EU plan to coordinate among the appropriate institutions and organisations at the global and regional level in order to ensure that all aspects of the response are endorsed by relevant stakeholders. The U.S. and EU are working to ensure that governments, institutions and civil society, including NGOs and the private sector, fully participate in these efforts.

Diplomatic Cooperation in Africa

The U.S. and EU participate together in donor coordination groups across Africa, assessing local needs and capacities and developing diplomatic and public awareness strategies. U.S. and EU diplomats have successfully encouraged African leaders to speak openly about the threat of HIV/AIDS, to set national priorities, to establish high level governmental coordinating mechanisms, to establish broad health sector and action plans to strengthen regional, national and local capacity to deliver health services and treatment, and to commit resources. We are making great strides in ensuring that our diplomatic activities are responsive to the needs and priorities of host countries, and complement the activities of other donor partners.

  • Regular high-level coordination involving the U.S. and EU, other donors and host governments has been established in several African countries. Similar coordination is proposed throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Development Assistance Cooperation

The U.S. and the EU are working together in planning and implementing country activities that are responsive to the needs and priorities of countries and regions. This assistance is being placed within national and regional health and development frameworks.

  • The U.S. and the EU are collaborating in sub-Saharan African countries to support health policies and activities aiming at preventing the expansion of the diseases and at caring for and supporting people with HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and those close to them.
  • The U.S. and the EU are enhancing their support for national health and other sector plans and policies. This support can take the form of a general support, either direct or through budget, or by supporting specific elements of those plans and policies for combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, for example training, provision of commodities such as condoms and test kits, and improving access to interventions that reduce mother-to-infant HIV transmission.
  • Under the enhanced HIPC initiative, the U.S. and the EU will work together in close collaboration with national authorities of selected countries to identify mechanisms for the utilisation of debt relief towards comprehensive social programs responding to the challenge of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
  • The U.S. and the EU will set up a working group to identify and take advantage of their respective comparative advantages in supporting procurement and the provision of technical assistance.

International Partnerships

The U.S. and the EU jointly support multilateral HIV/AIDS initiatives such as UNAIDS and the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa. The U.S. and the EU continue to support the Roll Back Malaria Initiative and the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, as well as coordinating our assistance to the Stop TB Initiative and the TB Coalition.

The U.S. and the EU support new innovative partnerships to increase the availability and affordability of global public goods.

Research Cooperation

The U.S. and the EU agree that to combat these diseases, the international scientific community needs to work together. Long-term investments in the full range of scientific endeavour are necessary to accelerate the development and evaluation of new and affordable vaccines and drugs.

  • The U.S. and the EU are enlarging public investment in research and development activities focused on confronting the three communicable diseases, and call upon the private sector to follow this example.
  • The U.S. and the EU will work together to strengthen the coordination of research projects and to ensure that the coordinated efforts contribute to strengthening sustainable capacities at local, national and regional levels in Africa.

Access to affordable drugs, vaccines and other commodities

Better access to affordable pharmaceuticals and commodities to prevent or to treat the three communicable diseases is crucial. The U.S. and the EU will seek to assist in setting up effective infrastructures and will take steps to make key medicines and commodities more affordable and available. African leaders' commitment to improving health systems is essential to the success of these efforts, and we stand ready to provide technical assistance in this regard.

  • The U.S. and the EU urge the pharmaceutical industry to make drugs for HIV/ AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis more affordable, particularly for the poorest countries. We reaffirm the importance of providing more affordable pricing and strict compliance with safety and quality assurance laws and regulations.

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.

William J. Clinton, Statement of the United States and the European Union on Communicable Diseases in Africa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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