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Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 11:35 | SYDNEY
Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 11:35 | SYDNEY

Japan's continuing commitment to the Global Fund

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28 May 2008 09:49

On 23 and 24 May, I attended a Symposium in Tokyo on the linkages between communicable diseases and human security, organized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Friends of the Global Fund Japan. It is one of two important meetings leading up to the forthcoming G8 meeting to be held in Hokkaido – the other being next week’s Japan-Africa summit meeting, which will bring 40 African heads of state and government to Tokyo. The Symposium was opened by Prime Minister Fukuda, who announced a new grant of $US560 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Prime Minister Fukuda gave a succinct outline of the importance Japan places on health and development issues as vital elements in the construction of global peace and security. His full speech can be found here. The Japanese Government has had a long history of involvement in the development of the Global Fund since its inception at the 2000 Okinawa G8 meeting. Former Prime Minister Mori also attended the Symposium and spoke passionately about Japan’s commitment to the Global Fund and its rapidly expanding programs to contain the triple threat of AIDS, TB and malaria. The Japanese commitment to the Global Fund follows on the massive expansion of US international AIDS programs under PEPFAR (totaling $US50 billion over 5 years). I was struck by how much time and energy Japan is investing in the questions associated with development issues and global security.

Corridor talk at the Symposium was concerned with the rapidly deteriorating level of global food stocks and consequent food price inflation. Privately, many of those attending the Symposium conceded that no sustained improvement in health outcomes is possible without general access to reasonably priced basic foodstuffs and adequate nutrition.

The Symposium’s success was a tribute to the skill and dedication of the Director of Friends of the Global Fund Japan Tadashi Yamamoto and his staff. Tadashi has been a consistent advocate for the Fund and for the expansion of Japanese soft power at global level.

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