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Alliance of Civilizations: Report of the High-level Group, 13 Nov 2006

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The Global PLAN TO STOP TB (2006-2015)
A Estratégia STOP TB
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1st AoC summer course

July 12, 2010

(Deadline for applications, 27th JULY 2010)

“Bridging Hearts, Opening Minds and Doing Things Together”
15-21 August 2010,
University of Aveiro, Portugal

Co-organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the
in cooperation with
Aga Khan Development Network

(documents are in PDF format)


November 27, 2009

NAIROBI, December 1 2009: Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda



December 1, 2009 – Nairobi, Kenya – The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis (TB) is visiting two African countries in a bold initiative to fight the spread of one of the biggest killer diseases on the continent. The mission is organized by the Stop TB Partnership in close collaboration with UNAIDS.

Dr. Sampaio, who is also a former President of Portugal, is asking key stakeholders including governments to take an active role in helping people in need to gain access to accurate TB diagnosis and effective treatment. The five-day official visit in the region will see Dr. Sampaio visit Ethiopia and Kenya.

TB is a major health issue in Africa and kills nearly two million people every year around the world–even though it can be cured with a six-month course of drugs that costs only US$ 20.

Dr Sampaio has reiterated his request to Ministers of Health in Africa to set ambitious national targets and mobilize the funding necessary to reduce the number of people living with HIV who die unnecessarily of TB. He made the initial request at a Special Ministerial Session on TB in Kigali, Rwanda two months ago.

Dr Sampaio’s visit to Kenya coincides with World AIDS Day, which is marked annually on December 1 across the globe. In Nairobi, an educational workshop for school children will focus on various aspects of the disease including its prevention and treatment. Mr Wilfried Lemke, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sports, Development, and Peace will also be on hand and join Dr Sampaio at a football tournament for boys and girls aged 12 to 14.

The tournament, which will be held at Mathare Depot field and feature 24 seven-a-side teams, is aimed at creating more awareness about TB through sports. The initiative has been organized in partnership with the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, Mathare Youth Sports Association and Vijana Amani Pamoja. Alive and Kicking and Street Football World are among other organizations engaged in the event.

The Stop TB Partnership will distribute an educational comic book featuring the international Portuguese football star and Stop TB Ambassador Luìs Figo as the main character. The comic book–which targets children and young adults with key information on tuberculosis–will be distributed to children and the media at the football event. Figo was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year and 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year.

Dr. Sampaio’s visit will provide a follow up to the implementation of his Commitment with the Clinton Global Initiative, which is aimed at increasing the engagement of global leaders in the fight against TB/HIV. Dr. Sampaio is also expected to ask National AIDS Councils to systematically integrate TB in their programmes as one of the objectives of his visit.

Dr. Sampaio’s visit will also help support the establishment of an African Leaders Tuberculosis Alliance with the main goal of fostering collaboration among African countries to build up common strategies to avoid an epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

In Africa, TB is the leading killer of people living with HIV and this visit comes nearly four months before the World TB Day which is held each year on 24 March. There are nearly nine million new cases of TB worldwide.



The Stop TB Partnership, which is hosted by the World Health Organization. Stop TB consists of more than 900 international organizations, countries, donors from the public and private sectors, and non-governmental and governmental organizations working together to eliminate TB.

The Partnership’s Global Plan to Stop TB (2006-2015) sets forth a roadmap for treating 50 million people for TB and enrolling 3 million patients who have both TB and HIV on antiretroviral therapy over the next 10 years, saving about 14 million lives. It aims to halve TB prevalence and deaths compared with 1990 levels by 2015.

In September 2008, Dr Jorge Sampaio, spoke at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative and urged participants to intensify their commitment to collaborative action on HIV and TB. Dr Sampaio formally endorsed a Commitment with the Clinton Global Initiative to aim at increasing engagement of global leaders in supporting the coordination of TB and HIV services and ensure that their Ministries of Health implement nationwide programmatic scale up and capacity building for these combined services.

In order to implement the Commitment on TB/HIV, Dr Sampaio asked the Regional Director of the WHO Regional Office for Africa to include a special ministerial discussion on tuberculosis at the 59th Regional Committee with the aim of assessing progress in the implementation of the Maputo Declaration and agreeing on the next priority steps to advance the fight against TB and TB/HIV in the Region.

The Special Session was held on 3 September 2009 in Kigali, Rwanda, and introduced by the Chair, the Hon. Minister of Health of the U.R. of Tanzania. Key note speeches were delivered by the Regional Director of the WHO Regional Office for Africa and Dr Sampaio himself.

Dr Sampaio inspired the audience with a powerful address highlighting the economic, social and personal burden of TB in the continent, the threat of MDR-TB in settings of high HIV prevalence and the engagement of African leaders needed to make concrete progress. He also focused on the special impact of in women.

Dr Sampaio made four requests to the attending Ministers of Health:
1. Set ambitious national targets and mobilize the funding necessary to reduce the number of people living with HIV who die unnecessarily of TB;
2. Mobilize HIV-affected communities, broader civil society and the private sector for a response to tuberculosis; and educate and empower them to become active partners in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB.
3. Support the establishment of an African Leaders Tuberculosis Alliance with the main goal of fostering collaboration among African countries to build up common strategies to avoid an epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
4. Target action to deliver world-class TB services through strengthened primary services.

The meeting was attended by delegations of all the 43 Member States of the WHO African Region. Ministers or representatives of Malawi, Benin and South Africa shared with participants the challenges they are confronted in their countries to tackle TB and TB-HIV epidemics, underlining progress and shortcomings as well main difficulties they face.

For further information, please contact:

David Kimondo
Account Manager
Hill & Knowlton
Tel. +254 445 4461-8
Email: ek.oc.notlwonkdnallihnull@odnomiK.divaD

Speech at the North-South Prize Award Ceremony

March 16, 2009

Jorge Sampaio, Un High Representative for The Alliance Of Civilizations

Speech at the North-South Prize Award Ceremony
Lisbon, March 16, 2009

His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic
Her Majesty the Queen Rania and His Majesty the King Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
The President of the Portuguese Parliament
Honorable Members of the Portuguese Parliament
The President of the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General
The President of the North-South Center

Ladies and Gentlemen

In the unequal and often disappointing course of our world there are times when men atone for their sins and conflicts by forging paths that promote solidarity and greater ethical demands. This was the case when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the universal Declaration of Human Rights, providing a modern and universalistic body for the old founding documents of American independence and of the French constituents of 1789.
With it a new era began. Although devoid of direct binding power its text would serve as the decisive basis for later legal efforts that through new documents, duties and execution mechanisms have attempted to outline a face of greater justice and more effective responsibility for the international community.
The “European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity, the North-South Centre”, an auspicious creation of the Council of Europe, can by virtue of its objectives, functioning and peculiar decision-making process, be included in the direct lineage of those same concerns to improve mankind, so evident in the name itself. So, I am understandably proud to receive this award, greatly enhanced by my gratification at sharing the distinction with Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, whose outstanding efforts to bring cultures closer together have today received just recognition.
In the face of this honour I would like to proffer a personal note. I belong to a generation of Portuguese who from their young days and due to our domestic situation accompanied with particular expectations the legal developments of the various forms of human rights, from political and civil to economic, social and cultural. Later, both for professional and civic reasons, I defended their breach in the law courts of the dictatorial regime, or took part in initiatives that denounced the offences perpetrated by the national authorities of those unhappy times.
All this explains the particular memory I will cherish forever: that of being, five years after the restoration of democracy, the first Portuguese representative at the Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe, immediately after Portugal ratified the Convention, at a time when tension between the two ideological blocs still fractured our continent.
Now, because of this award, I have reencountered today memories of old battles that helped mould my life. Today, and that is no doubt the reason behind this generous award, I am committed to and fully engaged in two other struggles for human dignity. Although on different planes these are based on identical principles of solidarity and on the promotion of understandings.
At the distinguished charge of the United Nations it befalls me to help raise awareness to the urgency for a more collaborative fight against the growing scourge of tuberculosis. In another sphere I work to promote the dialogue between peoples of different cultures and faiths which, by means of an alliance in the noblest meaning of the word, will improve the ambiguities and some of the mistakes made due to the reducing theory of the clash of civilizations.
In both cases we are fully immersed in one of the goals of the North-South Centre: mobilization towards greater awareness by political leaders and civil society to global problems by promoting policies geared to a more ambitious interpretation of human rights.
The plain but still widely disregarded truth that the real wealth of a nation lies in its people is often repeated, so that effective development will require appropriate health care systems, its condition being a privileged indicator of the progress of nations. Unfortunately, the asymmetries of wealth and of access to public goods that continue to characterize our times show that economic and social factors are decisively projected on the grim world geography of disease, epidemics and exclusions.
In this framework, through my many contacts, namely in sub-Saharan Africa, I have been able to witness the terrible and destructive power of tuberculosis. Despite the progress made in treatment, the new outbreaks reveal not only a terrifying persistence, but have also moved into new areas and made new victims with dire consequences on the social cohesion of vast communities.
It is therefore vital to insist on this subject that is so often marginalized, and to ask that it receive greater attention with more solidarity, – as this is a problem that by its very proportions exceeds its immediate political and medical nature to become an undeniable ethical issue.
In the other sphere of my current responsibilities, with the Alliance of Civilizations, the aim is to start from what is inherent to human societies – the amazing diversity of civilizations and cultures – and, on the fertile road of mutual interaction so finely recorded by historical memory, encourage conviviality and exchanges – both of information and of experiences – in order to establish collective action strategies leading to greater peace, more respect for differences and greater progress. As our period of intervention is short we must insist on remembering that the challenges of the varied interdependencies that beckon us in a world become by force of technology an immense global village, has never been so ample, diverse and harsh.
Hence the world financial and economic crisis we are currently experiencing – and with it discovering a parallel crisis of values – has underlined the need to respond to the global problems of our times through greater cooperation between States, structured on the open, democratic principles of responsible multilateralism. To do that we should remember that the credibility and effectiveness of this indispensable diplomatic method will depend on the long-planned but continuously postponed urgent reforms by the recurrent selfishness of States.
Miguel Torga, a Portuguese writer accustomed to looking beyond the horizon, wrote that “The Universal is the place without walls”. Let us follow his example and in line with the praiseworthy objectives of the North-South Centre, demolish the many walls that endanger our duties of solidarity and obstruct possible paths of concord.
Many thanks.
Video of the ceremony

Address to the European Parliament

October 22, 2008


Jorge Sampaio


Address to the European Parliament

October, 22, 2008


Mr PÖTTERING, President of the European Parliament,
Mr Harald RØMER, Secretary General of the European Parliament,
Honorable Members of the European Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Senhor Presidente do Parlamento Europeu
Senhor Secretário-Geral
Senhores Parlamentares
Minhas Senhoras e Senhores

Não quis deixar de fazer esta saudação inicial na minha língua materna, o português, mas todos compreenderão por certo que, na qualidade em que aqui hoje me encontro, recorra a outro código linguístico…

Let me express at the very outset my heartfelt thanks to Mr.Pöttering for his kind words of welcome. Let me also add that it is an honor and a great pleasure to address this prominent audience both on behalf of His Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations and in my capacity as his High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.
The Secretary General was invited to address this parliamentary session but was unable to be here today with us. He has asked me to deliver the following message, and I quote:

Strasbourg, 21 – 22 October 2008

“It is a great a pleasure to send greetings to all the distinguished participants in this important session of the European Parliament on intercultural dialogue.
Throughout its history, Europe has seen terrible outbreaks of armed conflict often rooted in prejudice and hatred. Yet the continent has also been fertile soil for some of the world’s most remarkable innovations, artistic creations and scientific progress. Europe’s tremendous diversity and its strategic geographic position, at the centre of old and new migration routes, have made it a significant venue for cross-cultural interaction and interfaith dialogue. In particular, its close relationship with its neighbors across the Mediterranean makes Europe an important bridge between civilizations.
Like many other regions of the world, Europe faces multiple challenges in promoting intercultural dialogue. Migration, economic uncertainty and political tensions are putting strains on relations between different cultural, ethnic and religious groups.
But it is precisely in your region, where constructive contacts over the centuries have allowed humanity to take major leaps forward, that opportunities for reconciliation and cooperation exist.
This special session today holds great promise. I urge you to make the most of this opportunity, and to pursue joint economic projects, educational exchanges, and other initiatives that will improve people’s lives and create a bulwark against intolerance, religious fundamentalism and extremism.
The United Nations will do its part to support and complement your efforts, both in and beyond Europe.
The Alliance of Civilizations is one of our main vehicles for this work. It aims to address the growing divisions between societies by reaffirming a paradigm of mutual respect between peoples. It also seeks to mobilize joint action for this purpose. Among the Alliance’s major initiatives are a Youth Solidarity Fund to promote dialogue, and a Global Expert Finder to provide a source of commentators who can shed light on potentially divisive issues.
“If I were to do it all over again, I would begin with culture.” These famous words, most often attributed to Jean Monnet, who worked so tirelessly for European unity, remain strikingly relevant today.
Cross-cultural tolerance, dialogue, respect and understanding must be pillars of the better world we are trying to build. It is very encouraging to know of your strong commitment to this quest.
For the sake of countless people living between the extremes and yearning for dignity and peace, let us work together so that intercultural dialogue can bear fruit. In that spirit, please accept my best wishes for the success of your discussions”.



As a former MP I know that Parliament is and always will be the home of democracy. Its members have the sometimes ungrateful task of guaranteeing a sustainable view of the future for the people they represent.
As far as Europe is concerned, we all know how slow has been the evolution of the parliamentary institution, and how great the challenges are to enforce a specific European model of democracy.
I can only praise the work already carried out and its contribution to build a more participative, pluralist Europe that is closer to citizens, closer to all citizens. These are the results of your labour and therefore I wish to address a warm greeting to all the members of this assembly, the legitimate representatives of a community of nations committed to achieve an original and unique project, in which the last century placed so many hopes and which in this one faces so much expectation.

Members of Parliament,

I come today to speak to you of the Alliance of Civilizations, an issue that although it may seem remote and distant from our day to day life is in fact deeply embedded there. An academic dispute between scholars who predicted the end of history and the clash of civilizations, but that turned into a major hot social topic, a challenge to democracy and a core issue of international policy because of globalization, increased migrations and 9/11. An issue, finally, that the United Nations managed to put high on the global agenda.
What am I talking about?
I refer to the huge – ethnic, cultural and religious – diversity of our societies and of the increasing difficulties we experience in living together.
I speak of the worsening divides of all types, the erosion of social cohesion and the widening rifts between societies.
I speak, too, of a widespread malaise that has been expressed in increased tensions intra and inter-communities, mutual distrust, in polarized perceptions and world views, in intractable identity-based conflicts, and in the rise of extremism.
Furthermore, I speak of religion being employed as a tool by all and sundry, and used and abused for various purposes and effects.
I speak also of the disorientation of political powers, confronted with the deficiencies of a purely security-based and/or repressive approach, and the absence of suitable policies and instruments for proper governance of cultural diversity.
All this serves to underline what to me is irrefutable evidence: cultural diversity has become a major political issue challenging modern democracies, pluralism, citizenship and social cohesion as well as peace and stability among nations.
For me this is crystal clear and even if serious but circumstantial crises such as the current financial and economic turmoil take up all attentions, we cannot allow present emergencies to deflect us from handling the in-depth problems of today and guard against the catastrophes of tomorrow.

Members of Parliament,

To put it harshly – to us, to the European Union, stripped down to its bare essentials, it means: how to integrate minorities, all minorities, but the Muslims of Europe in particular? How to develop our relationship with the Mediterranean? Where to draw the lines of the European project? How to enhance European foreign policy to project what we consider universal values to the world?
In my view, this is all about fundamental questions concerning values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. This is about democracy, rule of law, human rights and respect for cultural diversity; about justice, social cohesion and inclusive societies; about States, secularization and secularism or laicité; about the public sphere, private acts and religious revival. This is all about European identity and values. That’s it.
As time is obviously very short, I will not be able to discuss all these points, so I will focus on the issue of the Muslim minorities in Europe.
Why there is growing anxiety about the integration of Muslims in Europe ? Because it is a demographic issue ? Yes, of course!
Because of the integration issue? No doubt about that! In my view, the presence of Muslims in Europe is not a question of Islam and the West, but an acute problem of integration.

But, to my mind, there is another thing, there is an identity issue. Indeed, the arrival of immigrants in any society has an impact on the host country’s sense of self. But the point here is that, as someone has put it, “the dam separating Christian Europe from Muslim East has sprung a leak, altering Europe’s culture”.
Why, for instance, did past discussions on the preamble of the former European Constitution end in such vocal acrimony? Why does Turkey’s accession to the European Union trigger such passionate and combative debates? All these questions are inter-related and they all point to the so-called European values and identity.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In order to reinforce it, European identity should encompass individual allegiances and adopt cultural legacies. Europe as a place where we can live together as equals requires more and more inclusive citizenship and better governance of cultural diversities.
To cope with the integration of Muslims in our European societies we need new policies at all levels. We need European action, but also national governmental initiatives as well as local measures. We need democratic governance of cultural diversity. We need integrated perspectives and policies on education, youth, and integration of migrants.
In order to develop appropriate cultural policies we need to build cultural statistics and indicators to enlighten decision-makers and the decision making process and to monitor and assess the implementation of those policies. We need to develop democratic citizenship and participation.
We need education for human rights. Education for citizenship and respect for others. Education for intercultural understanding and dialogue. Education on media literacy. Education about religions and beliefs and both intra-and inter-religious dialogue. We need to learn about and to teach intercultural competences to our citizens.
We need to create urban strategies and policies for intercultural dialogue. We need youth policies based on equal opportunities. We need to engage civil society at large, youth, religious leaders and the media. But we need also to expand and develop the intercultural dialogue agenda in international relations and give it priority.

Mr. President,
Honorable Members of the European Parliament,

How can we live together in our globalizing word, where clashes anywhere are clashes everywhere and where cultural and religious fault-lines divide our societies? This is the global challenge the Alliance of Civilizations is facing and which it has to address in concrete terms.
Turning this global challenge into “glocal” deliverables is therefore AoC’s main task. By “glocal” I mean that deliverables have to be extensively underpinned by a global approach, but have to be implemented at a local level.

This means that the Alliance relies greatly on the European Union to implement an agenda of good governance of cultural diversity in the European region, meaning by that not only the members of the European Union, but also its neighboring countries, particularly the Mediterranean ones.
This is why I am so happy that an Action Plan on cooperation between the European Union and the Alliance of Civilizations has been agreed and will provide a solid base for the pursuit of concrete objectives and the implementation of practical projects.
In this regard, let me stress how important and significant it will be if the European Year of Inter-cultural Dialogue could be expanded into a long term, sustainable framework for promoting good governance of intercultural diversity.
I am sure that it would have a terrific impact on boosting National Strategies for intercultural Dialogue comprising measure and programmes on education, media, migration and youth that I have asked countries to design and implement. This is a suggestion that I put forward last April and to which I would like to draw your attention, asking honourable Members of Parliament kindly to back it.
Another area where in which the Alliance is eager to collaborate is the Union for the Mediterranean in order to help improve and manage inter-cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue, including inter-faith issues, within and among European and Muslim societies and communities.


To put it bluntly: the current international difficulties and the increasing anxiety we all feel in living together in mutual respect have encouraged the misguided view that cultures are set on an unavoidable collision course leading to a clash of civilizations.
We face increased polarizations that come up against a backdrop of growing tensions over a series of political issues and of growing cultural stereotypes. It goes without saying that political conflicts can only be solved through political negotiations. The long-term resolution of tensions between Muslim and Western societies, for example, cannot be achieved as long as some of the egregious sources of hostility are not successfully addressed.
But it is equally true that peace agreements rarely hold if they are not strongly backed by the communities involved. Many peace deals in the past have floundered because deep-seated suspicion and hostility remained, dividing people along cultural and religious lines.
Now the point is that all findings are unanimous and show a great divide in the way Westerns and Muslims view each other, with Westerners seen by Muslims as patronizing and domineering, and Muslims seen by Westerners as fanatical and intolerant. Moreover, socio-economic marginalization and discrimination generate disaffection and intolerance, and aggravate the chasm between Muslim and Western publics.

This so-called divide, opposing two fictional monolithic blocks, Islam and the West, fuels further stereotypes and polarization, and gives rise to extremism. But let me stress that the vast majority of peoples reject extremism in any society and support respect for religious and cultural diversity. Both Muslims and non-Muslims are concerned by the challenges of security and the threat of social polarization. Millions of Muslim families worry about losing their young to religious and political extremism.
In order to tackle this problem, new strategies to manage and promote inter-faith dialogue as part of cultural diversity, based on universal human rights, should be developed. In other words, creating the necessary conditions for sustainable peace requires efforts of a different kind, aimed at generating a mind shift among divided communities. This is my first concluding point.
My second point regards the need to give political priority to the development of democratic governance of cultural diversity.
In the European Union this implies creating a collective identity between its citizens – regardless of their origins and their ethnicities, languages, philosophical beliefs, political and religious affiliations – to share values, attitudes and projects, and make room for a common future to build on together. This is why cultural diversity should go hand in hand with protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, equal opportunities for all, economic solidarity and social cohesion.


These issues will not be sorted out in the short term and long term efforts are needed. Indeed, the temptation to give up is likely to be with us all the time, but we must never resign ourselves because after all small changes in circumstances can produce big shifts in behavior. And this is exactly what we need to generate the will to live together in mutual respect and appreciation of our ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious differences.
The urgency of the task cannot be underestimated. But I am sure that with your work and your commitment, we will manage to live together in integrated communities.

Many thanks
Audio File [EP]

Memorandum of understanding between the Council of Europe and the Alliance of Civilizations

October 1, 2008

Jorge Sampaio, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations and Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe signing the memorandum of understanding between the Council of Europe and the Alliance
Parliamentary Assembly Session September 2008, Strasbourg

JORGE SAMPAIO Address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe // Discours devant l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe

September 29, 2008


Address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Discours devant l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe

Fourth part of the 2008 Ordinary Session
Quatrième partie de la session ordinaire de 2008
Autumn Session /Session d’automne

29 -09- 2008

Monsieur le président
Monsieur le secrétaire général
Mesdames et Messieurs les parlementaires
Mesdames et Messieurs

Monsieur le Président, tout d’abord, acceptez mes remerciements pour les aimables paroles avec lesquelles vous avez bien voulu m’accueillir.
C’est un grand honneur et un vrai plaisir que de m’adresser à cette assemblée d’élus, réunis ici sous l’égide de l’aînée des institutions européennes.
Permettez-moi de saisir cette occasion pour rendre hommage aux hommes et aux femmes qui depuis plus d’un demi-siècle œuvrent sans relâche à l’édification de la «Maison commune européenne», pierre après pierre, sur le socle des textes fondateurs du Conseil de l’Europe et de son large dispositif conventionnel.
En tant qu’européen convaincu, je tiens aux normes et aux valeurs portées, défendues et patiemment mises en œuvre par le Conseil de l’Europe, à travers les activités multiples et complémentaires de ses organes constituants. Je crois dur comme fer aux principes de la paix, de la justice et aux droits de l’homme qui, tous, sous-tendent le projet européen.

Monsieur le Président,
Mesdames et Messieurs

Je suis heureux de pouvoir m’adresser à l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe au nom des Nations unies.
Le sujet qui nous réunit aujourd’hui me tient à cœur – l’Alliance des civilisations. Il en va des droits de l’homme, il en va de la paix, il en va de la démocratie – des valeurs auxquelles j’ai consacré toute ma vie, qui me passionnent et qui sont au centre de cette nouvelle initiative des Nations unies.
Vous n’êtes pas sans savoir que l’Alliance des civilisations, lancée par l’Espagne et la Turquie, en 2005, et qui regroupe aujourd’hui plus de quatre- vingt-dix membres vise, au fond, à s’attaquer à l’idée – aussi fausse que répandue – que les cultures se trouvent sur une trajectoire de collision inévitable et que la paix et la stabilité mondiales sont menacées par des conflits d’identité intraitables.
Dit sous un autre angle, plus positif, l’Alliance cherche à traiter les divisions croissantes entre les sociétés, en réaffirmant un paradigme de respect mutuel entre peuples et communautés aux traditions culturelles et religieuses différentes, tout en s’efforçant de promouvoir la bonne gouvernance de la diversité culturelle.

“Comment vivre ensemble, en respectant l’autre dans sa différence ?”, «Pouvons nous vivre ensemble, égaux et différents?», telles sont donc les questions auxquelles l’Alliance tâche d’apporter des réponses en mettant sur pied de projets concrets dans les domaines de la jeunesse, de l’éducation, des médias et des migrations. L’Alliance mène son action par la création de partenariats avec des gouvernements, mais également avec le secteur privé, les médias, la société civile et les organisations intergouvernementales dont, bien évidemment, le Conseil de l’Europe.

Monsieur le président
Mesdames et Messieurs

En cette année de célébration du soixantième anniversaire de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme, la certitude devrait l’emporter sur les doutes, la proclamation des réussites sur l’inventaire des insuffisances et l’affirmation de l’universalité et de la pérennité sur les constats d’échec.
Nous sommes tous, cependant, conscients que, de nos jours, les droits de l’homme sont sur la sellette, en proie à toute sorte d’accusations. À cause des doubles standards; à cause des inégalités profondes qui marquent notre temps; à cause de ce mal de vivre ensemble que nous éprouvons de façon plus aiguë en raison de la mondialisation…

Au fond, c’est toujours l’universalité des droits de l’homme qui est au cœur de toutes les disputes, compte tenu des difficultés rencontrées pour les combiner d’une façon adéquate avec le respect de la diversité culturelle au sens large.
Disons que la nouveauté n’est pas tant la diversité en soi –puisqu’elle a de tout temps existé -, mais plutôt la reconnaissance que la gestion de la diversité culturelle lance un défi sans précédents à nos démocraties. Au fond, l’Alliance des civilisations émane de ce constat, doublé du refus du choc inévitable entre civilisations.
Bien sûr, depuis le tout début de l’Alliance, nombreux sont ceux qui y ont vu un verre à moitié vide, plutôt qu’à moitié plein. Et je ne suis pas sans ignorer qu’elle a été accueillie avec un brin d’indifférence, voire de scepticisme, bien que l’argumentaire proposé ait été souvent plutôt disparate.
C’est pourquoi, en acceptant de devenir son porte parole, j’ai fait de la prudence mon mot d’ordre, bien que la confiance soit mon refrain, certain qu’il s’agit d’une bonne initiative, survenant au moment opportun.
En effet, à mon sens, l’Alliance représente un espace global de gouvernance de la diversité culturelle au titre de quatrième pilier du développement durable, et en cela elle comble ainsi un vide qui est bel et bien de nature politique. Elle se veut un laboratoire de partenariats et de mise en œuvre de projets communs, orientés vers la réalisation d’un certain nombre d’objectifs pratiques en matière d’éducation, de jeunesse, de médias et de migration, ses quatre domaines d’intervention.

Mais, il est clair que les défis sont considérables.
Ou nous parvenons à divulguer l’Alliance et à l’ancrer aux processus régionaux en cours, en l’intégrant dans leurs agendas respectifs (je pense, par exemple, à l’Union européenne, à la Ligue arabe, à l’Organisation de la conférence islamique, à l’APEC, à l’Ibéro-Amérique, à l’Union africaine, au Conseil de l’Europe naturellement…), ou bien nous passerons difficilement le cap des bonnes intentions.
Ou nous réussissons à l’inscrire dans l’agenda interne des États, ou bien il sera difficile de dépasser le plan rhétorique des beaux discours.
Ou nous parvenons à mobiliser la société civile, ou bien nous mettrons en danger notre objectif ultime: celui de viser des petites améliorations sur le terrain, porteuses d’un nouvel espoir pour les peuples.
Voilà pour les trois défis majeurs de l’Alliance.

Monsieur le président
Mesdames, Messieurs

L’Alliance des civilisations concentre ses efforts sur la coopération interculturelle et le développement des pratiques de bonne gouvernance de la diversité culturelle. Aussi travaille-t-elle actuellement avec tous ses membres pour que soient développées et mises en œuvre des Stratégies nationales pour le dialogue interculturel envisageant des mesures dans le domaine de l’éducation, des jeunes, des médias et de l’intégration des minorités.
En outre, nous misons sur la création de réseaux sur le terrain, engageant les acteurs de la société civile et le secteur privé, dont le but est de développer des activités conjointes permettant de réduire les tensions multiculturelles et d’établir des ponts entre les communautés.
Pour atteindre nos objectifs, la coopération avec le Conseil de l’Europe jouera un rôle décisif.
Riche de son expertise incomparable dans le domaine des droits de l’homme, de l’expérience acquise, de la chute du mur de Berlin au suivi des processus de transition démocratique en Europe, de son action de longue date pour renforcer la coopération culturelle et la cohésion sociale à l’échelle du continent, de son engagement résolu dans le développement du dialogue interculturel, aussi bien au sein des sociétés européennes qu’entre l’Europe et ses régions voisines, le Conseil de l’Europe est un partenaire essentiel pour l’Alliance des civilisations.
Je me réjouis de le compter parmi le « groupe d’amis » qui soutiennent l’Alliance, et j’ai déjà pu apprécier l’importance du soutien reçu des principales institutions du Conseil de l’Europe (le Comité des Ministres, votre Assemblée, le Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux) ainsi que celui du secrétaire général.
C’est pour cette raison que le mémorandum d’accord que j’ai signé aujourd’hui avec le Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l’Europe revêt à mes yeux une importance toute particulière.

A cet égard, je tiens à souligner plus spécialement deux points:
– l’importance du Livre Blanc sur le dialogue interculturel, lancé en mai 2008 par le Comité des Ministres, qui agit à la fois comme une boussole pour nos efforts conjoints (en rappelant les principes fondamentaux sur lesquels le dialogue interculturel doit s’appuyer) et une véritable « feuille de route » pour le développement de la coopération entre le Conseil de l’Europe et l’Alliance des civilisations dans ce domaine essentiel. Je me réjouis que ce document de premier ordre existera non seulement dans les deux langues officielles du Conseil de l’Europe (le français et l’anglais), mais aussi dans des langues aussi répandues que l’allemand, le russe, l’arabe, l’espagnol, l’italien et (je l’espère) le portugais ;
– le rôle spécifique revenant au Centre Nord-Sud, qui par son emplacement à Lisbonne et sa vocation de « pont entre l’Europe et ses régions voisines » est un partenaire naturel et peut s’affirmer comme une force motrice dans l’établissement et le développement de synergies entre le Conseil de l’Europe et l’Alliance.
Ici je pense plus particulièrement à l’espace méditerranéen, lieu où se joue l’avenir du dialogue entre les cultures et les religions. Il y va de notre intérêt à tous de faire progresser ces échanges sur la base de la réciprocité et de la transparence. L’Alliance des civilisations est partie prenante dans cette entreprise et compte sur le Centre Nord-Sud pour multiplier les chances de réussite du changement et faire la différence.

Nous avons d’ailleurs déjà programmé un certain nombre d’activités communes, dont le « forum de Lisbonne », en novembre, qui traitera, à juste titre, de la question des plus actuelles qu’est le principe d’universalité des droits de l’homme et de sa mise en œuvre aux niveaux international et régional, au regard du 60e Anniversaire de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme.
En somme, j’ose espérer que le mémorandum signé aujourd’hui marquera un tournant décisif dans nos relations et qu’il y aura désormais un « avant » et un « après ». Pour ma part, soyez certain que je ne ménagerai pas mes efforts pour éviter à la coopération entre l’Alliance et le Conseil de l’Europe de devenir un jeu de somme nulle et pour qu’ensemble, nous fassions toujours partie de l’équipe gagnante.

M. President
Ladies and gentlemen

Since the 11 September 2001 attacks, the notion that we are facing a so-called “clash of civilizations” has, alas, gained increasing support. In reaction to this worldview, initiatives aimed at fostering greater understanding between different faiths and cultures have proliferated.

Regarding more particularly inter-faith efforts, these are probably a reflection of increasing awareness in political circles of the importance of religious communities to address the problems of an increasingly interdependent world. They also reflect a concern over the detrimental impact that religious extremism is having on global stability and the need to foster and strengthen more moderate and constructive forces within religious traditions as a bulwark against such developments.
For all these reasons, the Alliance expresses strong support and encouragement to all efforts that are inclusive of diverse religious leaders and activists in an effort to enhance and facilitate their contribution to cross-cultural understanding and peace-building.
As an initiative with a global scope, the Alliance aims at consolidating its role within the UN Global Agenda as its pillar for good governance of cultural diversity and as a tool for conflict prevention and peace building.
When conflicts are framed in terms of identity rather than competing interests, they easily become intractable. Efforts to address cultural and religious divides are therefore of utmost importance and good governance of cultural diversity is part of any comprehensive approach to sustainable peace.
It goes without saying that political conflicts can only be solved through political negotiations. The long-term resolution of tensions between Muslim and Western societies, for example, cannot be achieved as long as some of the egregious sources of hostility are not successfully addressed.

But it is equally true that peace agreements rarely hold if they are not strongly backed by the communities involved. Many peace deals in the past have floundered because deep-seated suspicion and hostility remained, dividing people along cultural and religious lines. In other words, creating the necessary conditions for sustainable peace requires efforts of a different kind, aimed at generating a mind shift among divided communities. This can be achieved by instilling in people, particularly the young, the values of tolerance and respect for the other. People-to-people activities, also known as “city diplomacy”, youth exchange programs and civic education also contribute to that goal. So do initiatives that promote informed debate in the media on immigration, integration and the management of cultural diversity.
That is why efforts to address cultural and religious divides are so important. They can help lift the hurdles that hamper negotiations and pave the way towards successful political dialogue. Post conflict, they can support the long and arduous process of reconciliation. And when the peaceful co-existence of different communities is being threatened by simmering tensions, these efforts can help prevent conflicts developing in the first place.

M. President
Ladies and Gentlemen

In my role as the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Representative, I have been promoting the implementation of National Strategies for cross-cultural dialogue, helping to connect government policies with civil society initiatives aimed at reconciling divided communities. The Alliance also acknowledges the constructive role that religious communities can play in mediation and conflict resolution. To support this process, the Forum of the Alliance, held in Madrid last January, brought together religious leaders from across the world to identify and commit to strategies that support peace-building in their communities.
In order to help create the social conditions that foster tolerance and understanding, the Alliance also generates practical projects that promote cooperation among diverse cultural and religious communities. For instance, in January, it supported the launch of “Silatech”, a major youth employment initiative in the Arab world. Supported by an international partnership that transcends cultural and religious divides, this project will help the process of job creation and enterprise, connecting first-time job seekers to networks of employers and providing them with training and resources to build their skills and access capital.

Addressing prejudice and stereotypes that increase polarization among cultures is equally important. To this end, an Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund was created earlier this year, with the support of major Hollywood companies, to finance mainstream productions that challenge negative portrayals of minorities. With a view to promoting informed debates on sensitive international issues in the media, the Alliance has also developed an online resource of global experts who can provide analysis and commentary to journalists in times of intercultural crises.
The strategy of the Alliance of Civilizations is to work on all these fronts with all partners as it recognizes the importance of facilitating dialogue in a variety of ways.

M. President
Ladies and Gentlemen

As you know quite well, these are all long-term efforts. They will not bear fruit overnight. But their importance should not be underestimated.
As much as mediation and hard-edged political negotiations, they are essential to build conditions for sustainable development and lasting peace. To achieve these goals, we should stand united in our common endeavors in contributing to make the world a better place to live in.

Thank you

President Sampaio visits Strasbourg to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

September 29, 2008


September, 29, 2008

President Sampaio visits Strasbourg to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Council of Europe

On 29 September, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, President Jorge Sampaio, will pay an official visit to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He will address the Parliamentary Assembly and will meet among others the President of the Assembly, Mr Lluís Maria de Puig i Olive and the Secretary General of the Assembly, Mr Mateo Sorinas Balfegó. In his address President Sampaio will present an overview of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, its main goals and challenges, and will focus on how the Alliance and the Council of Europe can cooperate in addressing cultural divides.
In his address he says “Efforts to address cultural and religious divides are therefore of utmost importance and good governance of cultural diversity is part of any comprehensive approach to sustainable peace.”

On this occasion President Jorge Sampaio and Mr. Terry Davis will sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Alliance of Civilizations and the Council of Europe. This Memorandum identifies the subject areas and the working mechanisms of future co-operation between the Alliance of Civilizations and the Council of Europe. It will specifically provide for a strategic partnership in the areas of youth activities, media and education for intercultural dialogue, human rights and democratic citizenship.
On the importance of this Memorandum, the UN High Representative said: «J’ose espérer que ce mémorandum marquera un tournant décisif dans nos relations et qu’il y aura désormais un « avant » et un « après ». Pour ma part, soyez certain que je ne ménagerai pas mes efforts pour éviter à la coopération entre l’Alliance et le Conseil de l’Europe de devenir un jeu de somme nulle et pour qu’ensemble, nous fassions toujours partie de l’équipe gagnante ». Moreover, he stressed the importance of the White Paper on Inter-cultural Dialogue launched last May by the Ministers of the CoE and recognized the unique role that the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe can play to support the cooperation with the Alliance.
The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) was established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations. It aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among States and peoples across cultures and religions and, in the process, to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism.
In April 2007, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, as High Representative for the Alliance. This marked the implementation phase of the Alliance of Civilizations, with the development of an action-oriented implementation plan focusing on initiatives and projects in the areas of youth, media, education and migration.
The Alliance’s focus on concrete initiatives was reinforced and consolidated at the First Alliance of Civilizations Forum, which was hosted by the Government of Spain on 15-16 January 2008.
For additional information see:

For information and questions, please contact Helena Barroco (tp.obactennull@ocorrabh); tel + 351 91 777 63 09

JORGE SAMPAIO Address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe // Discours devant l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe
Strasbourg, 29 Sept. 2008

President Sampaio visits Madrid for talks with President of the Government, Zapatero, and MFA Moratinos

September 10, 2008


Lisbon, September, 10, 2008

President Sampaio visits Madrid for talks with President of the Government, Zapatero, and MFA Moratinos

On 10 and 11 September, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, President Jorge Sampaio, will pay an official visit to Madrid, where he will meet among others with the President of the Government, Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Miguel Moratinos and other representatives of political life in Spain. The High Representative will discuss a wide range of issues related to the Alliance of Civilizations’ UN initiative.
On September, 11, President Sampaio will address the annual Ambassador’s Conference. He will focus on the ongoing works of the Alliance and the challenges.

The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) was established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations. It aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among States and peoples across cultures and religions and, in the process, to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism.
In April 2007, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, as High Representative for the Alliance. This marked the implementation phase of the Alliance of Civilizations, with the development of an action-oriented implementation plan focusing on initiatives and projects in the areas of youth, media, education and migration.
The Alliance’s focus on concrete initiatives was reinforced and consolidated at the First Alliance of Civilizations Forum, which was hosted by the Government of Spain on 15-16 January 2008.

For additional information see:
President Sampaio Address to the Conference of Spanish Ambassadors – Madrid, 11 Sep. 2008 PDF doc. Portuguese

Global Responsibilities in investing in the healthcare workforce

November 1, 2006




Global Responsibilities in investing in the healthcare workforce
for sustainable health

1st November 2006

Dr Asma Elsony, President of the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (IUATLD)
Dr Nils Billo, Executive Director of the Delegates of the IUATLD
Ladies and Gentlemen
Dear Friends

First of all, I would like to say some words praising the miracles of technology. I felt very sorry when I realised that I couldn’t be with you on this very special occasion due, to an unexpected retinal detachment surgery preventing me from flying to Paris. But eventually I am most happy to have the opportunity to address the Conference and to be somehow present, thanks to the fantastic means of on-line communication!

Let me now underline that I was extremely pleased to accept the kind invitation to take part in the opening session of the current 37th edition of The Union annual international Conference.

May I greet this huge audience made up by tuberculosis and lung health experts, health policy makers, TB and HIV managers, healthcare professionals, patient advocates and activists from around the world ?

I was very much looking forward to meeting you and to introducing myself. As you might know the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, has appointed me as his first Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis. It is indeed in this capacity that I am here today.
Above all, my role as Special Envoy to Stop TB, as I see it, aims at helping in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to “have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of TB by 2015” as well as The Stop TB Partnership’s 2015 targets – to halve prevalence and death rates from the 1990 baseline.
It is why I consider that my action has to focus on giving additional political visibility to this sometimes neglected disease; on helping generating public awareness about TB; and on continuing persuading world leaders to play their part in fully funding and implementing the Global Plan to Stop TB (2006-2015).

Meus amigos, afinal não nos devemos nunca esquecer: a TB é uma emergência, continua a matar 1.7 milhões de pessoas por ano, ou seja 5.000 homens, mulheres e crianças diariamente e, no entanto, estamos a falar de uma doença curável. Como recusar ser porta-voz desta pandemia e lutar contra esta vergonha civilizacional ?


Let me now share some thoughts with you on the subject I was asked to address here today: “Global Responsibilities in investing in the healthcare workforce for sustainable health”

I shall divide my presentation into three main parts:
I will begin by outlining the progress made in assuming global responsibilities in global health, particularly in the global fight against infectious diseases like HIV-AIDS, Malaria and TB during the last years;
Secondly, I will examine the problem of the health care workforce, particularly in low income and high burden disease countries;
Thirdly, I would like to focus on which strategies could better ensure a sustainable health policy regarding its human component in order to meet MDG and Partnership’s targets to stop TB .


First point: progress made in assuming global responsibilities in health – a major achievement: health is in the global agenda

I think everybody could agree that today health issues are clearly on the global development agenda and they are seen as an ever more global public good. These are the good news.

In the increasingly globalized world, marked by migrations and fast movements of persons at a worldwide scale, public health issues indeed call for domestic policies but require also international measures and a regional integrated approach as events overseas affect each country’s health. Communicable diseases are a most obvious example of these externality aspects of public health. That is, no single country can alone prevent or contain communicable diseases in order to protect the health of its population.

This increasing awareness of cross-border and global issues in health is clearly expressed in the growing attention paid to health by non health sector bodies, such as the World Bank, the United Nations or the G8, as well as by the private, corporate and charity sectors.
Let me recall a few examples:

– First of all, in January this year, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, Mr. Bill Gates and Mr. Gordon Brown, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, launched the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to Stop TB, 2006-2015. At that time, Mr. Gates pledged $900 million more for TB research and development efforts so essential for TB elimination.

– In July, the G-8 Summit, held in St Petersburg, included in its agenda, among key global issues such as energy security and education, the fight against infectious diseases including tuberculosis. G8 leaders committed to further support for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and to mobilize resources to fully fund the Global Plan to Stop TB. As you remember, last year, at Gleneagles Summit, the G8 had already pledged to help meet the needs to respond to the TB epidemic in Africa.

– The European Union is playing a leading role not only in being the second biggest donor to The Global Fund but also in planning to go further with an ambitious proposal to set up a 3 billion euros fund to promote good governance in Africa.

– The International Community is committed to developing innovative financing mechanisms such as the International Finance Facility and the UNITAID, which as you know, is an International Drug Purchase Facility being established by France, Brazil, Chile, Norway and the United Kingdom funded by an international air-ticket solidarity levy.

– Last May, the Global Business Coalition Initiative, led by Mr. R. Holbrooke announced that it will include TB among its critical issues for action;

– Last but not least, at the UN Millennium Summit (2000), among the eight global goals adopted by the entire global community – rich and poor countries together – health has been given maybe for the first time particular attention.

I do think that these examples are obvious indicators of health moving up the global agenda and thus being considered part of a minimum for a decent world.

In my view, at the international level, there is a clearer political commitment, a stronger public awareness and more resources available. These favourable conditions give renewed impetus to the fight against infectious diseases, but also create added responsibilities in view of producing better results.

Our shared aim, our common commitment and our motto has to be “to do more, to do faster and to do better”.

“More, fast and better” since emergencies, like TB, cannot wait.

Second point: the critical problem of the health care workforce, particularly in low income and high burden disease countries

Let’s start by taking two examples: TB and African region.
Firstly, as you all well know, but probably not the average person, TB is a preventable, curable and affordable disease. The medicines that cure TB cost about ten dollars per case of illness.
Secondly, let me remind you that the African Region has the highest TB burden per capita. Although with only 11% of the world’s population, Africa contributes approximately with 25% of TB cases. In 2004, about 2.3 million people fell ill with TB in the African region, where TB incidence is rising at over 4% a year fuelled by the HIV epidemic. Thirty-four of the 46 member States in the region face an estimated TB prevalence rate of 300 per 100,000 people and 9 countries are among the 22 Global TB high burden countries.
Now where is my point ?
Apparently TB could be thought of as a not too difficult global health problem as it is preventable, curable and affordable disease. But, in reality, it is a quite complex one. Why ?
Mainly because of the lack of infrastructures, apart indeed from all the problems related to poverty, malnutrition, sanitation, shared by all developing countries.
By infrastructures I mean physical, institutional and human components of the health care system. Because of infrastructure gaps millions of people dye everyday.
Now let me concentrate in the human resources component, the blood of the all health care system.
Of course there is a severe shortage of physicians, nurses, health care workers in many places around the world.
I have to underline that the crisis in human resources for health is one of the greatest challenges in TB control and for the Millennium Development Goals in general. To overcome this gulf, action is dramatically needed across all levels of the health system, all programs, partnerships and global stakeholders.
Allow me to tell you a story. I had the opportunity to attend a WHO African Regional Committee, last August, in Addis Ababa where I met several African Ministers of Health on a bilateral basis. If I had to summarize shared remarks, I would say that they all pointed out the lack of human resources at all levels as a major if not the main problem. In this regard, I remember particularly how a Minister coming from a big country put it bluntly, asking me if I knew that there are more doctors in big size hospital in Lisbon then in all his country twice populated than Portugal and 10 times bigger !
Moreover they all complained about lack of appropriate training and asked for help in this regard. All mentioned difficulties in recruitment and retention because of the disincentives of the work environment. All complained about “brain drain” that draws away health professionals.
I recall this personal experience because, in my view, it gives a quite accurate picture of the global health workforce crisis going on particularly in low-income, high disease burden countries. As you probably know the shortage is about 4.3 million health care workers of all sorts.
But in Africa this problem is much more acute as, while they have about 25% percent of global disease burden, only 1.3 percent of the world’s health care workers actually work there.
These figures show pretty well how the global burden and resources are unequally distributed with huge asymmetries, disparities and inequalities within the countries themselves, between urban and rural areas, as existing resources tend to be clustered in urban areas. These are the bad news.
Now I would like to end this point with good news. And the good news are success stories about ways of overcoming concrete problems. In this respect, I will briefly recall the Ethiopian experience in training primary health care people.
Firstly, Ethiopian policy makers have identified the main areas of action – actually, four main areas: maternal health, child health, HIV-AIDS-TB and malaria. Secondly, they decided that the best solution to address these four problems was to focus on primary health care particularly in rural areas. The next step was to identify the workforce that could really help with primary health care – and they decided that it was low level and mid level health extension workers. After, they decided to train as many as possible health extension workers – and, surprising and stimulating thing, they were able to train 9.900 persons in two years and deployed them within a plan that intends to achieve the total amount of 30.000 trained health workers in the next two years.
How they could produce such results in a such brief time ? According to my knowledge, by implementing an ambitious but realistic strategy, based on the use of existing assets – for instance, instead of start building nursing schools, they use existing technical and vocational training centres, so that it was like a shortcut. Instead of building down, they build up, they invest in outcomes of infrastructure in tangible ways, banking on increasing the horizontal caring capacity of the health system. They based their strategy on the will of individual communities to develop a sense of ownership over their own infrastructure, on engaging people in achieving improvements in order to guarantee the sustainability of health systems.
I think all of us can learn from the Ethiopian lessons. Of course there is a huge difference between our developed countries and countries in Africa, Asia or South America as well as between countries within these regions. But solving global health problems means sharing experiences and designing and implementing common strategies to better overcome gaps and challenges.

Third point: Strategies that could better ensure a sustainable health policy regarding its human component

In order to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Stop TB Partnership targets there is indeed a critical need to strengthen the workforce to improve global lung health.

Let me start by stressing that the Global Plan to Stop TB (2006-2015) outlines increasing human resources capacity as a priority TB control activity in the next 10 years. There is over US$30 billion funding gap for the Global Plan, and a strong need for increased funding of global TB control globally in Europe as well as in Africa.

But tackling the human resource crisis goes beyond TB control alone.
Three points have to be emphasized.

Firstly, it requires the implementation of human resource development strategies in the public health sector, e.g. more attractive career and salary structures, improved training as well as the establishment of partnerships with communities and all health care providers, in order to use and engage all available human resources. These strategies are designed to achieve the goals set up by public authorities.

Allow me to clearly emphasize that in my personal view equal access to health for all is a matter of human rights and only Governments offer rights. By this I mean that there has to be national health infrastructures so that we can make sure that poor people have rights. So an overall Human Resources Strategy in health sector has to be designed by Governments, who are responsible for it.

This is to say that private and corporate sector, NGOs, charities, associations and foundations have indeed an important part to play in the health field, but their action has to be regulated mostly by public powers.

Secondly, it requires the reinforcement of international action on health education and training.

Health education remains for me a critical point because it is the basis of everything, a way of empowering people in preventing health problems. Education for health is, in a way, much more fundamental than treating diseases…

Regarding training, needless to stress that it is essential to better coordinate international actions and initiatives in order to avoid overlaps and gaps and to ensure that they meet real needs of people. In this respect, I do think that national health authorities and national health policy makers have the most important role to play not only to strengthen the feeling of ownership but also to ensure long term sustainability of the efforts and results.

Foreign aid and help need to be well coordinated with national plans and policies in order to rain the right health workers. Most high burden disease countries need most urgently primary health care workers.

Thirdly, it requires a broad multilateral framework on migrations and for the cross movement of people avoiding brain drain from poor to rich countries.
As is well known, this problem is particularly acute in essential social services such as education and health. While domestic policies to increase the incentives and opportunities for skilled labor to remain at home are an important part of the solution, it has also been suggested that the industrialized countries should coordinate their hiring policies with developing countries facing such skill shortages in essential services.
Measures to stimulate a process of “skills circulation” (like training, tax incentives to stimulate return of skilled migrants to their home countries etc) could be considered because they would benefit both industrialized and developing countries. The former could still continue to hire skilled labor from developing countries. The latter could also benefit from this circulation without being deprived of the very category of workers that they need most and without suffering the loss from the investment in training.
The adoption of a kind of Code of good practices for health care workers migration could be a useful tool to prevent a permanent brain drain from poor to rich countries and to stimulate the return of skill migrant to their home countries.


Dear Friends

Some final remarks to conclude.
As United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Stop TB, I am committed to developing new ways of supporting the fight against TB.
To ensure my role is productive, I’ll indeed be working closely with WHO and the Stop TB partnership, which are leading the fight against TB. But I will not neglect regular and direct contacts neither with national and local authorities, private or public partners, nor with the civil society, non governmental organizations, and individuals working together to ultimately achieve a world free of TB. And, in this regard, your own input, Dear Friends, is invaluable.
You can count on my committed efforts to increase advocacy to focus United Nations attention to TB control in general, and TB control in the context of the universal access principle.

I will spare nothing to continue advocating for additional resources mobilization for TB control and to reinforce international and national commitments for TB control and ensure that money flows down to those in great need.

In the last years, much progress has been achieved in placing health issues at the top of the international development agenda, particularly concerning the importance of the fight against infectious diseases and diseases of poverty like TB. But, indeed, to overcome the huge global challenges we are faced with in order to achieve the MDG and the Stop TB Partnership’ s targets, there is still much to do.
There is a need for enhanced collaboration, to bring all actors in the TB control field together to make a cohesive effort in the fight against TB. There is also the need for a strong TB movement to answer the TB crisis, equivalent to that for AIDS. The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world’s leading independent association of HIV/AIDS professionals. A similar movement for TB is needed, I feel! Count on me to support your efforts in order to reinforce The Union, a way of calling on strength through unity!

Thank you very much.