Karibu my friends,
Two years ago, I shared a vision with you: a vision of strengthening the Implementer Group. I asked you to put your confidence and trust in me to do so —to build on the work of my predecessors, some who are seated in this room (Dereck and Loretta), to work to improve how we consult amongst ourselves and raise the level of our intervention at the Board Table. We are now the best we have ever been as an implementers group in the history of The Global Fund.
Today, I want you to trust me again and give me another mandate to represent you as the Chair of the Global Fund Board and to fight for the people we serve—those living with and affected by HIV, TB & Malaria.
I am asking you to trust us – as a group— and to believe in what we can do together on the Board.
I am many things, but first and foremost I am an African father whose family has fought all three diseases… two times I have fought Malaria and won. I have also seen poor health systems and I know what it is to be denied healthcare. It is my priority that my two African daughters (Zuri & Nia) and their friends – the children of the world, who are disproportionately affected by the three diseases, are not forgotten in the global response. In this regard, Africa cannot lead from behind. Fundraising for the Fund will be increasingly difficult over the next few years and we must be strategic.
We must present a bold, strong and charismatic leader who can speak to, and relate to, the urgency of fighting the three diseases. I am that leader.
My vision for the Global Fund is for a body that must be perceived to be a reliable and essential investment during this process of transition. I want the Global Fund to do what is was created to do—help countries save lives and ensure we have strong health systems.
The Global Fund needs a Board Chair who can immediately go to the capitals of donor countries to explain to presidents and decisions makers on how donor funding impacts countries that are low and middle income, and to make a compelling case for the impact of global fund money on the lives of people. We need a Chair who can pass decisions smoothly, and for whom decisions form and have a place for unity on the board.
Over the last two years, in every fight to pass tough decisions, you have watched me work in the hallways and corridors with donors and members of the secretariat. You saw me provide the leadership needed to ensure decisions were passed in our favour.
Together, at the 34th Board Meeting, we fought for a market shaping policy that would allow for greater access to medicines and commodities needed to save lives.
At the 35th Board Meeting, I stayed up through the night and negotiated with members of the Strategy Committee to ensure that we would have a fair eligibility policy that would include public health factors to determining funding, and would not exclude small island developing states in South East Asia, Western Pacific Region and Latin American & the Caribbean.
At the same meeting, I worked closely with the Secretariat and Donors to adopt a Challenging Operating Environment policy to ensure that we would protect our brothers and sisters in fragile and challenging economic environment across,
Eastern Mediterranean Region, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and in Africa.
For those who were at the last board retreat we all know the role the implementer group played in giving guidance for moving the Executive Director’s selection process forward. A number of our recommendations have since been reflected in the new TORS. This proves my ability and capacity to negotiate and use my diplomacy skills to deliver results on the Board. It will not change. I will remain committed to it.
At our Implementer Retreat last year in Nairobi, we came together and developed a roadmap which has empowered so many of us to be better Delegations. This guide – that we can use however we choose, has motivated us to partner with each other, to strategize and make expert interventions that have resulted in greater respect for our Constituencies on the board – and we did that… we did that together. Today, you agreed on an implementer board position paper on Sustainability, Transition & Co-financing — a positive step in terms of realizing the implementer group roadmap.
The decisions I have helped push through on the Board, my work in developing policies in India, my work in South Sudan, my work writing and getting regional laws adopted in East Africa, my role in high level meetings in Washington DC, Boston, New York and Geneva have all benefitted from my strong network with governments leaders and international organizations, but most importantly, my commitment to results.
Look at the history of the women and men who have occupied this Chair. All – elevated when they entered this office.
My Board colleagues,
- Dr. Apuli
- Prof. Anne
I promise to always meet with you, consult with you, to listen to your concerns, to take your advice. But above all, I promise to work with you honestly and fairly. Vote for me.
The Global Fund faces many challenges—this is something we all know. We need to be honest with one another about these challenges and have the courage to confront them, head on—together.
Yes. I wish to be your Chair but more important than that I want us to make this decision here, and I hope to always be able to influence a united Implementer Group.
Despite the challenges of the last few weeks, the implementers are stronger and more united than we have ever been. And so, regardless of the outcome, I am committed to ensuring that we remain united.
I am so hopeful that if chosen to be your Chair, and with you as my eyes and ears, over the next two years, we will have more victories than failures.
Trust me. Trust US to achieve even more RESULTS together.