Never has the world been so prosperous. And yet never have inequalities been greater than they are now.
Five years ago we decided to break with the previous pattern of dependence and aid and instead set up a new international partnership for development based on responsibility and solidarity.
We clearly still have a long way to go to achieve the Millennium Goals, especially in Africa.
It is true that, at the strong urging of civil society and non-governmental organizations, States have increased their official development assistance. France and Europe have committed to a timetable for achieving the objective of 0.7% of their GNP.
But as necessary as this additional financing is, it nevertheless falls far short of what is needed. The time has come to create new mechanisms ; we must draw on the wealth created by globalization to raise stable, sustained resources to benefit the poorest countries. Justice, solidarity and peace require that we do this.
France, in an appeal by President Chirac, joins Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Germany and Spain in calling on the international community to take up and implement this idea. Next year, a pioneering group of countries will be introducing a first international solidarity levy on airline tickets. It will provide an ongoing source of fresh financing without impeding the development of air transport. France proposes that priority be given, in allocating these resources, to the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to take this opportunity to call attention to a new emergency, a new threat which we all face but which will also hit the most vulnerable countries and populations especially hard.
We must face up to the risk of a bird flu pandemic. The scale of the threat is such that we must act without delay. We must all - the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health, the national public health authorities and pharmaceutical industry - come together, marshalling our forces in order pragmatically and efficiently to :
stem the spread of the disease among animal populations and mitigate the economic impact on the poor countries ;
strengthen early detection capabilities aimed at identifying any new viral strain that is highly contagious to humans ;
set up an international emergency stockpile of antiviral drugs so as to immediately contain any outbreak of infection in humans ;
foster access to treatment in the case of a pandemic ;
accelerate research and development aimed at devising a vaccine and ensuring that it is produced in sufficient quantities.
Failure to make this effort may expose all of our countries and populations to this disease. All our efforts to foster development could then be brought to nought.
Ladies and gentlemen,
France makes a solemn appeal for a dual effort to fight disease and to fight poverty. It is our responsibility here to lend new impetus to solidarity. Our security is at stake. Our future is at stake. France is determined to act.