World AIDS Day: Speeches, Speeches, Speeches

img AIDS ribbon Like at every World AIDS Day before it is also the day of speeches and memorandums. And clapping each other’s back to tell how great work we all do.

The same has happened for more than 30 years within the “fight” against Malaria and Tuberculosis and – let’s face it – there is lots of room for improvement and more efficiency. Maybe people should just start getting the job done and not always only cry for more money that most of the time does not arrive where it’s needed.

Opinions like these would obviously get you fired immediately from any government / international agency related to AIDS or at least would make you an endangered species on the brink of extinction. We have heard it a few times “…You actually want to do something about AIDS why don’t you go back to the private sector. Let us waste our billions how we always have done it.”

In the meantime millions are dying….

There are many more who think that something needs to be done now and quickly than you bureaucrats would like to be. Let them not get away with it…

Back to the topic:
Some links to the speeches of today about AIDS:

1. (Outgoing) UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan has a short memo published on the UN web site (PDF) where he is praising the Global Fund and also otherwise demonstrates that he’s a man of positive thinking.

We were told that he was much more reserved about the TGF on his global good-bye tour this year when he visited the organization’s offices and had to participate in their staged answer and question game. But then it’s also said that he is planning to come back to Geneva…

2. (Acting) WHO Director-General Anders Nordström who had to take over after the tragic death of J.W. Lee this year also provided some nice words and mentioned the 16th International AIDS Conference were almost 30,000 people were flown into Toronto for talks. Bad example Anders, this was – as we have been told by active members in the AIDS “trade” – one of the biggest time and money wasters ever. The estimates are in the region of more than USD 200 million (and counting) that were spent on this photo opportunity. Many who actually DO something had a second thought about it and did not even go…

Side Note: Let’s remember it takes just a few hundred USD to save the life of an AIDS patient. So how many can you make survive with more than 200 million…

It’s not your fault Anders and we know your org is running on a shoestring budget these days. The link to his speech is here (PDF)

It is a less known fact that, previous to becoming ADG at the WHO, Anders Nordström was the first Executive Director of the Global Fund. He left faster than you can say “there is something wrong here” – to be fair his escapade with that shop took less than a half year.

Surprising not even the TGF is mentioning this fact – actually the TGF is wrongly reporting that (outgoing) Richard Feachem would be the first Executive Director of that “financial instrument”. We will ask Anders the next time we see him why this is so…
(For those who don’t believe us have a look at this – just one of the documents that are still proving it)

3. (NOT outgoing) Dr Peter Piot also has provided us with a one page message. You can see it here (PDF)

4. (Outgoing) Stephen Lewis, first UN special envoy on Aids in Africa who is stepping down in December, had an interview covered by the BBC very prominently as one of the specials for today’s World AIDS Day.

We met Stephen on a high level conference in Africa this year and were quite impressed by his enthusiasm and will to change something (Stephen you might not remember we only had a very short talk after being introduced).

We unfortunately were less impressed when seeing him again at a show paid by the TGF in Africa – this time in proximity to the Gorillas (well this is meant literally – …you know what they charge you these days for watching the Gorillas in the rain forest in Uganda or Rwanda – USD 250 we couldn’t believe it – well I guess Stephen you know which occasion I’m talking about here now).

Anyway they were all scared at that occasion that you might say something (which you unfortunately never did) – but seemingly that time has come and gone.

The link to the interview is here

5. (Outgoing) Executive Director of the Global Fund, Professor Richard Feachem, had no special message for today. There is a memo on the TGF web site telling something about a new schmooze between the TGF and PEPFAR that is as close to reality as a White House press release on Iraq these days.

Richard, we all know you were trying really hard, but as a reality of these days (like those of Kafka I assume) it’s the bureaucrats again who say who say who say…

Anyway in our best – YES MINISTER speak – we would say (- sorry the same word again .-) you’ve done all right and we are sure that there is a KBE luring just around the corner (Richard we suggested that more than one year ago – don’t worry you will get it)



I guess that’s enough with the “outgoing” and now for something completely different….


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