The concept of an international fund to support efforts to reduce the spread of communicable diseases—eventually leading to the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) in 2002—was born at the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit in Japan in 2000. Five years later, JCIE and its Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ) initiative, celebrated the anniversary with a major symposium in Tokyo, as described in this report. It was at this symposium that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced Japan’s renewed commitment of US$500 million to the Global Fund.
In addition to the prime minister’s remarks, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, chair of the FGFJ, and former US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson, honorary chairman of the Global Fund, spoke about the achievements of the Global Fund as well as its challenges ahead. The discussion at the symposium focused on national-level challenges and responses to major communicable diseases throughout East Asia, responses from international organizations and civil society networks, and measures for promoting regional responses.