Sir Elton John used the occasion of receiving the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest award, to also discuss with President Macron their shared vision for the fight against global AIDS and the forthcoming replenishment of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB & Malaria.
President Emmanuel Macron presented the award to Sir Elton, for his lifetime contribution to the arts and the fight against HIV, at a ceremony at the Élysée in Paris, in the presence of Elton’s husband David Furnish, Chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and global health leaders including Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund and Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of Unitaid.
Elton, who performed the previous night in Paris as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, highlighted the importance of a successful Replenishment for the Global Fund this year, and praised France’s historic role in the fight against HIV. Under President Macron’s leadership, France will host the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment pledging conference in Lyon 10 October, 2019. The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion for the next three years to help save 16 million lives. Working with organisations like Unitaid and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Global Fund’s goals include cutting the HIV mortality rate in half.
"When I started my Foundation back in 1993, we would have been overjoyed to save just one life. The thought that by combining all our efforts we could actually halve AIDS deaths globally is the most wonderful prospect imaginable. This is why I feel strongly about replenishment of the Global Fund. We will all do as much as we possibly can with what we have but we cannot work miracles."
- Elton John
Following his meeting with Macron, the President and Sir Elton addressed a crowd at the Élysée Palace who had gathered for the start of the annual Festival de Musique. "It is humbling indeed to receive such an honour", he told the audience about his Legion D’Honneur award. "To receive it on this day is even more special".
The Elton John AIDS Foundation, established in 1993, was one of the early groups providing lifesaving treatment and dignified care and support for people living with HIV. Today, the foundation partners with the Global Fund to provide treatment and support to millions of people around the world.
"$14bn is a huge amount of money" commented Anne Aslett, CEO of the Elton John AIDS Foundation "until you think about the enormity of what it seeks to achieve. We’ve already cut AIDS deaths and HIV infections in half in just over a decade. We have until 2030 to reach the Sustainable Development goal of defeating AIDS and consigning one of the world’s most lethal diseases to history."
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