Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-10-04-Speech-4-031"
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substitute; Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (2001-01-15--2002-01-14)3
"Mr President, it is unacceptable that millions of people continue to die unnecessarily from AIDS, malaria and TB. We have here a global problem of the highest order. Our own citizens who are HIV positive are able to access long-term treatment with effective medication. For patients in developing countries, the medicines are too expensive and the medical infrastructure to provide care for them is lacking. Also, if a patient is not disciplined in taking his medicines regularly and in the correct dosage, they lose their effect. The pharmaceutical industry only lowered its prices under the heavy pressure of global public opinion, and those prices are still far too high. A further lowering of prices must be realised through industrial and government cooperation. Only a very broadly established, very expensive and dogged international campaign can effectively tackle this large-scale problem. Mr Khanbhai’s excellent report provides a clear overview of all the important aspects of the transmittable disease. We join him in welcoming the European Union’s campaign programme. It is well thought out and deserves to be carried out with the greatest urgency. May I ask the Commissioner whether he has sufficient personnel resources available for this? I advocate a very substantial provision in the budget over the coming years for the AIDS fund, without detriment to present provision for poverty relief. Does the Commissioner consider this feasible and can he also tell us the situation regarding the setting up of the fund? It is also a requirement that the twenty-year patent protection term specified in the TRIPS Agreement be considerably reduced for essential medicines. The pharmaceutical industry must, of course, be able to continue investing in research into vaccines and cheap medicines, but must gain its profits in the rich countries and not in the epidemic-ridden Third World. Results will not be achieved without large-scale information campaigns. Sexual behaviour and attitudes towards women, in particular, will have to change dramatically. Women’s right of self-determination is fundamentally at issue here. A great responsibility also rests with the developing countries themselves, not only with the governments and the NGOs, but especially with the religious leaders who can wield moral authority. If they refuse to cooperate, they will be partly responsible for the misery. Only a collective effort can end the situation whereby millions of our fellow humans die, countless children are orphaned and economies are ruined needlessly."@en1
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