"We all share the same sorrow," she told United Nations conference delegates in a powerful speech
Credit: N. Saussier et F. Nebinger/Palais Princier

Monaco’s Princess Stephanie hailed the United Nations work against AIDS earlier this week, saying she “wants to believe” eradicating the disease’s public health threat by 2030 is a realistic goal, saying, “We are here to today to talk about the end of AIDS.”

The royal – who has served as a U.N. AIDS Special Ambassador since 2006 – told conference delegates in New York on Wednesday that “in 2016, AIDS is no longer the disease of ‘others.’ ”

Describing it as “a disease which affects us all closely, whether it is our families or our friends,” she added, “we have all lost at least one someone close to this disease. We all share the same sorrow.”

Of the goal of eradicating the disease within the next 14 years, she said, “Can we succeed without vaccine, solely by the force of will? I want to believe, yes, in terms of what we have already achieved in a few decades.

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“But it is also time to mobilize again to find the solutions that will tell future generations at the beginning of the 21st century: ‘In a few decades mankind eradicated – without a vaccine – a deadly [foe] which would have lasted for centuries in another time.’ ”

Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE in January, Stephanie said that her crusade against AIDS was a very personal commitment. Having founded the FightAids Monaco charity and built a hospice in France, Stephanie said that ending the disease “was important for our world, for our children.

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“You have to support those who are suffering. You can’t stigmatize people, you can’t cut away people you admire just because they suffer AIDS. It’s just not right.

“You have to help people who are living with AIDS. Help them to live as dignified a life as they can,” she said.

On Wednesday she vowed to conference attendees to continue her own efforts and those of her homeland.

Her brother Prince Albert and the principality, “supports UNAIDS efforts . . . and will continue to invest in the common good of eradicating this disease, because in 2030, no one should have to die of AIDS or suffer the lack of care or treatment.

“This is a fight that my country, its head of state, my brotherHSH Prince Albert II, and myself, will conduct without let up,” she said.