The 2005 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) took place on 26-30 January in Davos (Switzerland). One of the central themes of this year’s meeting was the fight against the AIDS epidemic.

Today, about 40 million people are living with AIDS. About half live in Africa, where there are over 8,000 new infections each day.

In his opening address, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair appealed for more aid for Africa and committed the UK to provide nearly one sixth of a World Health Organisation disease control appeal totalling £300m.

Mr Blair also made clear he would use Britain’s G8 presidency to address the problems of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa.

The need for increased funding to tackle AIDS pandemic was also raised by French President Jacques Chirac.

Mr. Chirac proposed an experimental global tax that would finance research for a vaccine, developing prevention campaigns and removing obstacles on access to care.

The tax would be levied on international financial transactions, airline tickets, as well as aviation and shipping fuel.

Related documents:

- Full speech of Tony Blair

- Full speech of Jacques Chirac

Last modified on January 28 2005.