(translation of statement made in French)
"World AIDS Day provides an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of France, the European Union and the entire international community to the fight against AIDS. Efforts, which began in 1998, to fight the epidemic have had positive results. However, it has not yet been stamped out in any region of the world.
This strengthens our determination, as affirmed by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, to continue this fight every day. We support, together with our European partners, universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS as well as the respect for their rights.
French initiatives and the level of contributions devoted to the fight against AIDS throughout the world demonstrate the extent to which France considers this issue to be a priority.
Without taking into account its financial contributions to the European Development Fund, the World Bank and to several other organizations devoted to global development and health, France specifically devotes more than €360 million to the fight against AIDS every year, allocated for the most part within a multilateral framework.
France is the second leading contributor in the world and the leading European contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, providing €900 million over three years to this fund, the creation of which it actively supported in 2002.
France initiated the establishment of the ESTHER group (Together in a hospital network of solidarity in care and treatment) and devotes €8.5 million to the group in order to promote access to treatment and to psychosocial support for persons living with AIDS by strengthening local health care capacities."