Forty years on from the devastating emergence of AIDS, the UK is proud to stand with all those affected directly and indirectly by the virus, and with all our partners, who have been instrumental in the global response to the HIV pandemic.

Together, we have made significant progress. Over 25 million people now receive treatment that not only prevents death, but allows people to thrive.

I commend the Secretary General for his excellent recent report, and I thank the Ambassadors of Australia and Namibia for their tireless work bringing countries together to speak with one voice.

I also thank UNAIDS and its co-sponsors, for their continued leadership.

The UK welcome the new Global AIDS Strategy. It rests on all of us to deliver it, and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

AIDS remains the leading killer of women of reproductive age, and Key Populations are disproportionately vulnerable to new HIV infections.

Clearly we need to drive down HIV infections in all these groups.

The UK has invested substantially in the WHO and Global Fund, which work alongside national governments to address their HIV epidemics.

And I am delighted to announce that the UK Government will contribute a further £7 million over the next 3 years to the Robert Carr Fund.

This will be used to support civil society networks to provide vital health services and advocate for the rights of Inadequately Served Populations.

Tragically, one of the biggest barriers to ending AIDS, is a lack of political will that flows from a lack of respect for the rights of women, adolescents, LGBTQ people, and minorities.

The same is true of AIDS as it is of COVID-19. We cannot put it behind us until every country is able to do so.

So we need to follow the public health evidence to protect and empower the most marginalised in their societies.

The UK has long been a defender of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We will continue to use our voice on the world stage to fight for gender equality and human rights.

We should not leave anyone behind – this is our moral duty, and a public heath necessity. It is the only way to end the AIDS epidemic, once and for all.

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