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The Bill Clinton Foundation is the second biggest private organisation in the global fight against AIDS, after the Gates Foundation. As Bill Clinton meets with Nicolas Sarkozy today, October 5, Act Up-Paris calls attention to the broken AIDS promises of the French President, and requests that Bill Clinton do so as well.

A week ago, on September 27, the French government announced in Berlin that it would contribute not one more dollar to the Global Fund against AIDS in 2008 than it did in 2007 (300 million euros per year, compared to the 3,2 billion dollars which the US puts into global AIDS in 2007). France further announced that this funding freeze would extend until 2010. This means that France will not provide treatment for one more AIDS patient until 2011. Yet Nicolas Sarkozy affirmed at the June 8 2007 G8 Summit « I am committed to universal access by 2010 » and « France is prepared to do more for the Global Fund ».

At present, through the Global Fund, France puts 130,000 AIDS patients on treatment. But UNAIDS has confirmed in its September 2007 report that universal access in 2010 requires a 5-fold increase in treatment access. Thus, every single donor – including France – was required to increase its financial contribution to the Fund, every year, until the universal access commitment is finally met.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s press secretary, David Martinon, affirmed in his briefing this week that « on issues of international development, Mr Sarkozy and Mr Clinton share the same priorities on health and education, and share the same sense of urgency concerning aid to Africa ». If that were true, the French president would not have frozen France’s contribution to the Global Fund, a decision which is killing the treatment hopes of hundreds of thousands of people with AIDS. In contrast, Bill Clinton has consistently emphasized that the fight against AIDS, the worst stoppable hecatomb in the history of mankind, has now become his number 1 priority – one to which he allocates more and more resources, every year.

Act Up-Paris calls upon Bill Clinton to publicly remind Nicolas Sarkozy of the commitments he has made to people living with AIDS in Africa who are hoping to access lifesaving medication.