Statement by the President: Hr: 3519
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Lake Placid, New York)

For Immediate Release                         August 19, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R.3519, the "Global AIDS and
Tuberculosis Relief Act of2000," which represents the latest U.S.effort in
the long-term global fight against HIV/AIDS and its related threat of

     In July 1999, Vice President Gore and I launched the Administration's
interagency "Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic" (LIFE)
initiative to expand our funding for global HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and
treatment in the worstaffected developing countries.  With bipartisan
support, the Congress appropriated the additional $100 million that we
requested for FY 2000 to enhance these efforts.  For FY 2001, mybudget
includes an additional $100 million for the LIFE initiative.

     While the LIFE initiative greatly strengthens the foundation of a
comprehensive response to the pandemic, the United States clearly
understands that there is much more to be done.  The Joint United Nations
Program on HIV/AIDS has estimated that it will take $1.5 billion annually
to establish an effective HIV prevention program in sub-Saharan Africa and
an additional $1.5 billion annually to deliver basic care and treatment to
people with AIDS in the region.

     H.R.3519 takes some of the additional steps to broaden theglobal
effort to combat this worldwide epidemic.  It provides enhanced bilateral
authorities and authorizes funding for the Agency for International
Development's HIV/AIDS programs; authorizes new funding for the Global
Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations and the International AIDS Vaccine
Initiative; and authorizes the creation of a World Bank AIDS Trust Fund
that is intended to create a new, multilateral funding mechanism to support
AIDS prevention and care programs in the most grievously affected

     The United States, however, cannot and should not battle AIDS alone.
This crisis will require the active engagement of all segments of all
societies working together. Every bilateral donor, every multilateral
lending agency, the corporate community, the foundation community, the
religious community, and every host government of a developing nation must
do its part to provide the leadership and resources necessary to turn this
tide.  It can and must be done.

     There is currently no vaccine or cure for HIV/AIDS, and weare at the
beginning of a global pandemic, not the end.  What we see in Africa today
is just the tip of the iceberg.  There must be a sense of urgency to work
together with our partners in Africa and around the world, to learn from
both our failures and our successes, and to share this experience with
those countries that now stand on the brink of disaster.  Millions of
lives-- perhaps hundreds of millions-- hang in the balance.  That is why
this legislation is so important.

     I wish to thank and congratulate our congressional partnerswho worked
hard to make this bipartisan legislation a reality:  Representatives Leach,
Lee, LaFalce, Gejdenson, Gilman, Jackson-Lee, Maloney of New York, and
Pelosi, and Senators Kerry, Frist, Biden, Boxer, Durbin, Feingold, Helms,
Leahy, Moynihan, and Smith of Oregon.


     While I strongly support this legislation, certain provisions seem to
direct the Administration on how to proceed in negotiations related to the
development of the World Bank AIDS Trust Fund.  Because these provisions
appear to require the Administration to take certain positions in the
international arena, they raise constitutional concerns.  As such, I will
treat them as precatory.

     The United States has been engaged in the fight against AIDSsince the
1980s.  Increasingly, we have come to realize that when it comes to AIDS,
neither the crisis nor the opportunity to address it have borders.  We have
a great deal to learn from the experiences of other countries, and the
suffering of citizens in our global village touches us all.  The pages of
history reveal moments in time when the global community came together and
collectively found "the higher angels of our nature."  In a worldliving
with AIDS, we must reach for one of those historic moments now-- it is the
only way to avoid paying the price later.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

August 19, 2000.

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