Tuvalu at the United Nations

Tuvalu Speaking Points
High Level Meeting to Review the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS
by The Honourable Leti Pelesala
Minister of Home Affairs, Women and Youth
New York, 31 May-2 June 2006


Mr Chairman

  • The HIV/AIDS epidemic affects all regions and countries, including also the Pacific SIDS like Tuvalu - it demands strong global solidarity and an urgent global response;
  • We are in strong solidarity with our brothers and sisters in all regions and countries on HIV/AIDS, they need urgent help. But for small island developing States like Tuvalu also, HIV/AIDS adds a new and an alarming source of vulnerability, further exacerbating our economic and environmental vulnerabilities particularly to climate change;
  • It is for this very reason, the Mauritius Strategy on SIDS (chapter XVII, paras 73-74) clearly identifies the HIV/AIDS as an area of critical concern to the sustainable development and survival of SDIS;
  • As by UNGA resolution 59/311, the Strategy needs to be properly recognized and integrated into global efforts against HIV/AIDS as well, and I propose that reference to the Mauritius Strategy is properly reflected in para 34 of the current draft of the Political Declaration;
  • Tuvaluan sea-farers serving on ships all over the world and their families, Tuvaluan overseas workers and students seeking education abroad are particularly vulnerable to the epidemic, and as such national HIV/AIDS strategies and plans have been put in place as integral parts of the Tuvalu National Sustainable Development Strategy Te Kakeenga II for 2006-2015;
  • Tuvalu appreciates the assistance it has received under the Global Fund facility, however, much more help is needed particularly on the implementation of these strategies and plans at the country level;
  • We are concerned about access to the Global facility especially because of our lack of technical and institutional capacity to make use of such a facility – we seek therefore proper consideration of our case and support from institutions concerned for easy access to funding;
  • There is also, in our view, a clear role for our own regional bodies in the Pacific to play in these efforts especially to help SIDS like ours improve access to global funding for activities in-country;
  • We are also concerned that should the targets and goals of the global ODA partnership of 0.7% of GNP and for 0.1 - 0.2% of GNP to be targeted for LDCS and other vulnerable regions such as SIDS not be met, we would be in a most disadvantaged position to achieve our national goals on HIV/AIDS as required under the MDGs, the 1994 Population and Development POA and the 2001 Declaration;
  • Central to Tuvalu’s approach against HIV/AIDS is the proper implementation of prevention measures, for which public awareness through quality education and training at all levels is key - we seek for adequate financial and technical assistance from the international community to  help us address outreach needs in this area;
  • Similarly, we also need assistance on curative with the HIV/AIDS positive cases, and to deal with data collection, and reporting. For these there is an urgent need for up-scaling of skills of relevant personnel in awareness building and medical care.

Thank you.

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