Dalai Lama, Tutu among religious leaders calling on G8 to keep promises

Forty religious leaders from around the world, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Rev. Dr. James Christie of the Canadian Council of Churches, have signed a statement to the G8 heads of state, calling on them to keep their promises and scale up their response to HIV and AIDS.

The letter, sent to G8 heads of state on 11 July, stated, “We call on you to Keep the Promises which you have already made and to strengthen your leadership in fighting the three diseases through financial support of the Global Fund and committing to long-term, concrete targets for achieving universal access to treatment.”

Health and HIV in particular have been increasingly important agenda items for the meeting of the G8 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States – and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a product of G8 discussions five years ago. This year’s meeting, 15-17 July, is hosted by Russia, whose President has already pledged to put HIV high on the agenda. Many AIDS activists see this meeting as a key opportunity to lobby for full financing of the Global Fund in the context of achieving another G8 target – universal access to anti-retroviral therapy by 2010.

Round 6 of grant applications to the Global Fund was launched in April 2006 and proposals for funding will be reviewed at the November 2006 board meeting. However, the Fund is in danger of not meeting its resource needs to fully fund this round. Currently, the funding gap is estimated to be US $ 0.9 billion for 2006 and at least US $1.2 billion for 2007.

For more information, contact Sara Speicher, [email protected] , +44 1524 727 651.


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