CIAO: Course Packs and Syllabi

Emerging and Re-Emerging Disease: International Public Health

United to Fight HIV/AIDS?
J. Stephen Morrison and Todd Summers
The Washington Quarterly
Autumn 2003



A new institutional order is emerging in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Although the United States has come to dominate this new configuration, multiple actors, including national governments, multilateral institutions, private foundations, businesses, and the newly created Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria, bring new resources and new voices to bear in an increasingly diverse and, to some extent, competitive and chaotic global environment. The United Nations, itself a diverse collection of institutions, stands warily among these players. UN secretary general Kofi Annan and other key UN personalities have in the past five years played leading roles in bringing the world's attention to HIV/AIDS, leveraging critical resources to curb the pandemic's spread and mitigating its devastating effects.

Their leadership, with critical U.S. backing, led to a historic UN General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS in June 2001 that for the first time generated global acknowledgement of the pandemic as not only a public health crisis but also a threat to societies and international security. The special session further put virtually all of the world's leaders on record as endorsing a set of specific global targets in combating HIV/AIDS, ultimately giving added impetus to the subsequent creation of the Global Fund in 2001.

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