Since 2006, UNITAID has raised $2.2 billion to help fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and turberculosis through a micro-tax on airplane tickets. On June 7th, UNITAID’s chair, Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Innovative Financing for Development, came to IPI to discuss the achievements of innovative financing in the health sector and the prospects for similar global financing for education, food security, access to clean water, and climate change.
“Our dream, my dream, is to transform global public goods in universal public goods,” Mr. Douste-Blazy said. “We cannot accept the trampling on human rights in developing countries in want of aid. If we don’t want the global economy crisis to generate into a global humanitarian and social crisis with unpredictable consequences, political stability and international peace, we need to act collectively and to act now.”
Also speaking at the event was activist Khalil Elouardighi, director at Coalition Plus, who asserted that, if adopted by a critical mass of countries, implementation of the financial transaction tax (FTT) could help end the AIDS epidemic with little impact on economies.
“Would it ruin the economy if an FTT was done?” Mr. Elouardighi asked. “It would not ruin it, because it is happening in Taiwan and Brazil and the UK, and it hasn’t ruined either the financial sector or the economy in those countries. And the fact is that it can be put to very worthy and urgently-needed goals, such as ending the AIDS epidemic.”
The event was moderated by IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen.