The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

Montréal, Quebec, Saturday, September 17, 2016


On behalf of all Canadians, I begin by welcoming those of you who have travelled great distances to be here in Montréal.

And I thank you all for participating in this very important conference.

I would also like to offer a special thank you to Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, for his outstanding leadership.

Canada is proud to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

It is a force for good in the world.

More precisely, it is a force for good in the lives of many millions of people.

Recently, we learned that this remarkable initiative has helped save 20 million lives since 2002, the year it was established.

Let me pause and repeat:

Twenty million lives saved by programs supported by the Global Fund. And millions more lives improved.

It is truly a remarkable achievement.

And it is one of the world’s great success stories of the 21st century.

As you know, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria have placed terrible burdens upon people around the world.

These are three of the deadliest diseases the world has ever known.

Individuals, families, communities and whole societies have suffered.

And yet, all three of these epidemics are both treatable and preventable.

That’s where the Global Fund comes in.

And that’s where each of you comes in.

As you know, ending the scourge of AIDS, TB and malaria calls for much more than money—though funding is of course essential.

Perhaps the key insight of the Global Fund is that we must be smarter in our caring if we’re going to declare an end to these epidemics.

And the Global Fund is a very smart way to care.

There is so much to praise, but I would like to briefly focus on five key innovations or advantages of this initiative.

One, it supports country-led programs and promotes national ownership.

The approach is not top-down, but rather mobilizes local people who best know the situation on the ground.

They know what needs to be done and how to do it, and the Global Fund empowers them to take action.

A second innovation is the diverse coalition of partners this initiative has assembled.

Your presence here today reflects this. Governments, international organizations, the private sector, foundations, civil society groups, and affected communities all play important roles.

This broad coalition helps to ensure a global perspective of the challenges faced and the opportunities for success.

Thirdly, the Global Fund has gone to scale in the fight against these epidemics.

It has succeeded in reducing costs and fragmentation, while promoting learning and knowledge transfer within countries.

This has lead in turn to the creation of numerous national-scale programs that are now part of the effort.

A fourth innovation is the emphasis on setting goals and measuring progress.

The Global Fund has set some ambitious goals: to save 8 million more lives and prevent 300 million new infections by 2019, and to end these epidemics by 2030.

These goals allow us to gauge our progress and to continually move the ball forward.

Finally, I want to highlight what is perhaps a less tangible, but no less crucial, advantage of this initiative: its ability to inspire people around the world and provide hope to millions.

The Global Fund is a sterling example of what humankind can achieve when people work together in common cause.

It provides hope to millions who suffer not just from AIDS, TB and malaria, but from all manner of afflictions—whether related to health, poverty, hunger, equality or justice.

It provides hope that we will be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which are so important to our common future.

And to quote Margaret Somerville of McGill University right here in Montréal:

hope is the oxygen of the human spirit.

I thank you all once again for being here, and for your generous contributions to this important effort.

I wish you continued success on this journey. Families, children and people around the world are counting on you.

Enjoy the lunch.