Remarks With Angolan Foreign Minister Ansuncao Afonso dos Anjos At Signing Ceremony of PEPFAR Partnership Framework Agreement
Secretary of State
FOREIGN MINISTER DOS ANJOS: (Via translator.) Madame Secretary, delegation, Mr. Minister, members of government, ladies and gentlemen, first of all, I would like to wish Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a very warm welcome to (inaudible), here in Angola.
This hospital was established in 2004, to care for people living with AIDS, to give them adequate care. In case these people come to this hospital and they cannot be helped here, they are then referred to larger hospitals that are situated in the same area.
Of course, the name of the hospital, Hope, represents the hope that we have to stop the epidemic and to (inaudible) it, if possible, in this country -- 2.1 of the population is HIV positive in Angola. That means 219,000 people carry the virus here; 50 million people are actually followed up and treated here, 50,000 are followed and treated for the disease.
Madame Secretary, of course we cannot reverse the trend of AIDS in the country, unless we use the best practices available. And for that we have established this national plan to fight against AIDS in 2003, which is headed by the president, himself. It consists of a monitoring plan. We involved all possible sectors of civil society and the representatives are part of the plan.
And I would just like to add that I wish your visit will give you a comprehensive view of what we do here, to improve the quality of life of those who are affected with this virus who are living with AIDS in the country, and that, for many in the hospital, Hope really represents hope for a better future for people living with AIDS in this country. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I want to thank the minister of health for those very encouraging words, and to tell the minister how much our government has appreciated working with you and your colleagues in the ministry of health.
Also, I am pleased to be here with the foreign minister, who has been my host over the course of this visit, and to thank him for his support, as well. I want to thank Dr. Serrano, director of the National HIV/AIDS Institute, and (Inaudible) Vega (ph), the director of the Hospital of Hope.
It is a pleasure to participate in the signing of the partnership framework between our two nations of Angola and the United States. We want to commend the Angolan government, because the expedited process that led to this partnership framework reflects a commitment of the Angolan Government. And I want to thank the U.S. embassy in Angola, under the leadership of Ambassador Dan Mozena, and the U.S. global AIDS coordinator and ambassador-at-large, Dr. Eric Goosby. Dr. Goosby looks forward to working with Minister Van-Dunem in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
This framework represents a new approach to our government’s fight against HIV/AIDS. It emphasizes a bottoms-up approach tailored for and by the country we are assisting. It represents an expansion of local capacity and health care systems that can last over time. It represents long-term planning and more intensive pursuit of prevention. It represents the use of measurements to assure effectiveness and accountability. It will allow for greater coordination among the many parties involved in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. And finally, it will place greater attention of the affect of HIV/AIDS on women.
The spread of HIV is often linked to gender inequality. And women and girls account for nearly 60 percent of the HIV cases in sub-Saharan Africa. Sexual violence disproportionately affects women, and increases their vulnerability to HIV.
I am pleased that, thanks to the very swift work between the minister of health and the global AIDS coordinator, we are going to more than double funding for PEPFAR in Angola.
As the people of Angola know, the effects of AIDS are devastating and far reaching. AIDS targets the young and the strong. It leaves children without parents, schools without teachers, hospitals without nurses, and fields without farmers. It undermines economies, creates poverty, and sows the seeds of instability. For families, the damage from AIDS is measured in lost loved ones, for nations, in lost potential.
But we are determined to work together to defeat this epidemic. That is why President Obama and I are committed to the global fight against HIV and AIDS. The Obama administration looks forward to working with the government and people of Angola in the years to come, to address this urgent challenge, and create a more stable and secure future for our people. Thank you very much.
MINISTER DOS ANJOS: (Via translator.) Madame Secretary, Minister Van-Dunem, members of government, delegation, directors of the hospital, ladies and gentlemen, guests, I would like to say, first of all, that it's moments like this that define the real dimension of human cooperation.
I am among those who defend the idea that cooperation should not limit itself to a series of figures, figures about trade, figures about economics. It must be deeper than that, it must be more lasting than that. It must have -- it must be based on human exchanges, and human cooperation. That is why I welcome the signing of this partnership, which is deeply human, deeply solidary (SIC).
That's why I would like to congratulate, and that's why I welcome the signing of this partnership, because it represents the great interest that President Obama and Secretary Clinton pay to the support that they give now, and want to give, the help that they bring, on a universal world scale, to people who are affected by this illness, by providing the means to fight against this condition, the fight to preventing more people from getting it, to relieve the suffering of those who are already touched by the disease, and to providing better living conditions for those who are living with the virus.
Madame Secretary, I will not now talk about the legal substance of the document that we are about to sign. I am not going to also talk about PEPFAR, because the ministers have already talked about it, and the coordinator of the program will talk about it soon.
Madame Secretary, to conclude, I would like to emphasize that although your visit has been successful everywhere you have been before, starting at this point nothing will be like before. Because, in spite of all the successes you've had elsewhere, this is the moment, the most important moment, and I humbly say that this is the most sublime, the most magnanimous moment of your whole visit. This changes everything from now on.
Madame Secretary, I don't want to be too long, but please accept our gratitude for this, because this act, the signing of this agreement, will be the real act that brings truth and it will bring solidarity for real between the Angolan people and the American people. Thank you very much for everything.
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