This blog is one of the main ways that the NGO Delegates and the CF Team share information about the work of the Delegation and forthcoming PCB meetings. We encourage you to comment and/or ask questions. The posts are listed in order of most recent. Navigate this page by using the search function or the checklist system on the left to narrow down your search by PCB meeting, theme, or any other tag or key word.

Intervention at the 34th PCB on UBRAF – midterm review

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NGO Delegate Laurel Sprague, North America
Unified Budget, Results, and Accountability Framework – Mid-Term Reivew

“The UBRAF report describes success in scaling up treatment globally; although we know that we have not yet achieved the goal of providing treatment to everyone who needs it, the successes come as a tremendous relief for us and, especially, for the many people who otherwise would not be alive today, next month, or next year – as probably every person in this room hopes also to be.

We applaud the frank discussion of shortcomings in the report, particularly the failures to meet the treatment needs of many gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, youth, and pregnant women. We encourage attention to the effects of human rights violations, and other degrading and discriminatory actions, on access to treatment for key populations and other vulnerable groups.

The recognition of gender equality and freedom from gender-based violence in the report is much appreciated. We encourage the Joint Programme and member states to remember that economic justice is equally critical for ensuring equitable access to the highest attainable standard of health for women.

Finally, the NGO Delegation appreciates the recognition throughout the report of the important work done by civil society in the HIV response. We further appreciate that collaborations between civil society, governments, and UN organizations is highlighted as a model for other development and justice work.

A number of us know from our own experience how critical civil society has been—and especially networks of people living with HIV–in our own access to treatment, treatment literacy, self-advocacy with health care workers, and resilience in the face of discrimination, as well as in struggles to ensure treatment access, legal reform, and evidence- and rights-based policies. It is no secret that civil society is essential for meeting the call to end the epidemic within the deadline of 2030.

Yet, we do not have an accurate cost assessment of the funding needed for civil society to do this work. We have a radical new proposal for UNAIDS. We ask the UNAIDS Secretariat to identify and report in a timely manner the amount of unmet financial need for civil society advocacy, programme, partnership, and support work in the HIV response, including funding needed in connection with the targets to be presented in the 35th PCB.

We cannot scale up the HIV response at the levels needed without civil society playing a central leadership role in community organizing, human rights monitoring, and advocacy. This central role is unique to civil society and includes partnering with communities whose lived experience of exclusion leads to mistrust of public officials which limits their access to life saving treatment, and advocacy in situations where people’s ability to survive and live a good life with dignity is horribly threatened.”

Intervention at the 34th PCB on Executive Director’s Report

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NGO Delegate Kenly Sikwese, Africa

“Chair, the NGO Delegation welcomes the Report of the Executive Director. We applaud the Executive Director’s insistence that we need to be bolder and not be afraid to demand and expect a global commitment to end AIDS.

The delegation is in agreement and is also concerned that our agenda is unfinished, and that AIDS should not be lost in broad-ranging Sustainable Development Goals, and that we cannot afford to backslide. That is why the delegation supports the High Level Meeting in 2016, setting of an ambitious target and looking forward to getting involved and contributing to their success.

The NGO delegation agrees with the Executive Director that the knowledge of what we ought to do in ending aids must not be seen as a feel-good ambition, but comes with the responsibility of making the significant and achievable investment towards this goal. It will also require us to touch upon difficult issues, such as supporting discussions around sexual rights. Civil society needs all of you, both member states and co-sponsors, to explicitly support spaces throughout the UN system to freely discuss sexual and reproductive health AND RIGHTS, and comprehensive sexuality education for young people and adolescents, as this will be key to advancing a long-term approach to reduce stigma and empower women and girls. This is becoming more and more difficult in a world where we see conservative voices advancing, and countries heavily affected by HIV implementing punitive laws, stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

We also would like to see more specific support for the role played by civil society, and in this regard, putting in place mechanisms to support Community System Strengthening is a key agenda. We also need to collectively combat the shrinking space within which civil society is permitted to operate in certain countries. This includes both formal laws that limit civil society funding and activities and more informal pressure to keep us in our place, all of which handicap our ability to play an effective role in the AIDS response.

Inadequate resources will be an overarching issue and a major challenge to ending AIDS. The delegation notes the need to address social determinants of HIV and health and proposes that the UNAIDS Joint Programme, in keeping with the agenda developed at the UNAIDS/World Bank Summit this last January, lead an innovative drive to mobilize resources for HIV to deal with social determinants. These ideas should include progressive taxation and the involvement of financial markets, including through Financial Transaction Taxes.
The delegation also applauds the Executive Director’s report in reporting about countries and programmes moving towards ‘test and treat’ programmes, noting that earlier antiretroviral initiation rapid expansion of treatment through community led service delivery models is a core element in ending AIDS by 2030 until, indeed the cure for HIV.”

Intervention at the 34th PCB on Executive Director’s Report

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NGO Delegate Charles King, North America

“There was a time when NYC, where I live, was the global epicenter of the AIDS epidemic. Today, New York state still has the highest number of HIV infections in the US. But, we have gone from 15% at peak of the US epidemic to now 7% of the US epidemic. And just this last Sunday, as you noted in your report, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, on the occasion of LGBT Pride Day, announced his commitment to develop plan to end AIDS as an epidemic in NY State by 2020.

I believe this is the first such pubic commitment of any state in the world. And I hope it will lead other jurisdictions around the US and the globe to step forward with similar accelerated targets that will allow us to finally end the epidemic by 2030. But, I also think it is important for this body to appreciate how it came about and what made these commitment possible.

The first thing you should know is that this announcement was initiated, not by our government, but by civil society, including charitable organizations formed years ago, by and for people living with HIV and AIDS and who are still in the fight, such as Housing Works and Treatment Action Group. We were the ones who convened a series of summits, initially among ourselves and then inviting government to the table, to ask if the time was not ripe to take this step. We were the ones who met with the governor’s staff and proposed a plan of action. And we were the ones who, working with our state’s AIDS institute, convened meetings with stakeholders around the state and even brought drug manufacturers to the table to lower their prices so that the plan would be affordable. Finally, we were the ones who told Governor Cuomo we would challenge him publicly for his lack of courage if he did not make his commitment public by Gay Pride Day.

You should also know that a key change that made our plan possible was the implementation of state and federal initiatives that have made access to health insurance almost universal for the first time in the history of our state. This has allowed us to conceive of moving away from isolated testing for HIV to targeting key populations for enrollment in culturally competent primary care so that HIV prevention, testing and treatment becomes a part of routine holistic health care that focuses on the well-being of the whole person, and includes universal access to treatment, services and care.

We have insisted with our government on a human rights based approach, where education, not coercion, brings and keeps people in care. Already, we have one of the most extensive harm reduction programs, including syringe exchange, in the world and have virtually eliminated HIV transmission through injection drug use. Now we are transforming our harm reduction program to be a fully recognized drug treatment modality, not just an AIDS response, and are fighting to legalize syringes and for increased drug decriminalization. Likewise, we have insisted in prohibiting law enforcement’s use of the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution, and on a state law that fully recognizes and protects the rights of transgender people.

Last, but not least, we already had an extensive system of social protection, care and support, much of it created and delivered by civil society who fought for and won government funding for much of this. Now, as part of our plan to end AIDS, we are insisting on more. New York is already the only state n the US that recognizes housing as an entitlement for people [living] with AIDS. We are now insisting that this entitlement be expanded to all people with HIV. We are also insisting on education and employment opportunities for people living with HIV, because key to treatment adherence is that people living with HIV have the opportunity to live full and productive lives that offer a meaningful future.

At Housing Works, we have taken a whole new approach to treatment adherence, turning stigma into a badge of honor. We call ourselves “the undetectables” and proudly wear a button, which those who know the code recognize as the mark of a “super hero,” because it is our commitment to remain virally suppressed in the face of so many challenges that will end the AIDS epidemic.
These are all essential ingredients to ending AIDS. But, until last Sunday, when the governor made his announcement, we still lacked one: that being political will. Now that Governor Cuomo has made his public pledge, we will hold him accountable. And with that, I believe New York State will end AIDS as an epidemic by 2020, and serve as a role model for other jurisdictions.”

[Spanish] Intervention at the 34th PCB on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Blog15 July 2014 by admin[PDF][print]

NGO Delegate Alessandra Nilo, Latin America and the Caribbean

Discurso de Alessandra Nilo en la 34ª reunión de la Junta Coordinadora del Programa

La delegación de ONGs acoge con satisfacción el documento presentado en esta Junta Coordinadora del Programa, que muestra que han habido mejorías en el trabajo relacionado a la Agenda Post 2015. Nos alegra ver que este documento enfatiza la ligación entre VIH y desarrollo y reafirma que la epidemia está lejos de acabar. Menciona explícitamente que su aumento entre poblaciones clave y los costos para tratamiento y las leyes punitivas que criminalizan relaciones entre personas del mismo sexo y la transmisión del VIH están entre las grandes barreras enfrentadas en la actualidad.

Sin embargo, en el Grupo Abierto de Trabajo continuamos preocupados que el VIH no haya recibido la atención necesaria y que algunos de nuestros problemas relacionados con el sida: derechos sexuales, educación sexual, identidad de género – no se han incluido en los documentos resultantes. La presencia creciente de fuerzas conservadoras en las NNUU indica que las personas marginalizadas históricamente continuarán marginalizadas porque a pesar de todos los compromisos afirmando sus interrelaciones, aún existe una desconexión peligrosa entre el desarrollo y los derechos humanos. Esto no es aceptable y tendrá un impacto fuerte y negativo en las respuestas al VIH en todos los niveles.

En términos de “lenguaje”, en vez de tener solamente un objetivo para “acabar con el sida”, queremos ver también una referencia al “acceso universal a la prevención, al tratamiento, a la atención y al apoyo”. De esta forma, iremos más allá del apelo común para el sentido de urgencia y articularemos un análisis más sofisticado y crítico, con propuestas claras sobre cómo avanzar, presionando por políticas y programas que sean universales, de mayor alcance, no discriminatorios, de buena calidad y sin costo alguno. La tarea por delante no es fácil. Aún nos falta la voluntad política necesaria para implementar las reformas legales necesarias, así como vemos muchos gobiernos rehenes de un sistema económico tan profundamente desequilibrado, donde la erradicación de la concentración de riquezas se hace más compleja que la erradicación de la pobreza y el VIH juntos.

El documento de ONUSIDA también nos recuerda que los fondos para el VIH no están aumentando y que las SDGs tienen que comprometer recursos para establecer soluciones duraderas. Responsabilidades en común pero diferenciadas entre sí, son esenciales al considerar los medios de ejecución. El apoyo al desarrollo oficial es el elemento clave y debería permanecer como prioritario para los fondos contra el sida y no puede venir únicamente de los presupuestos nacionales. Informaciones muestran que los recursos locales, especialmente en países que enfrentan tasas de pobreza extremas y altas, no son suficientes para financiar la salud y los determinantes sociales relacionados al sida. Por ese motivo las SC está llamando a un sistema mundial de impuesto progresivo para transacciones financieras globales como medida regulatoria y, al mismo tiempo, un generador sistémico de ingresos, a ser aplicado en la sostenibilidad, el desarrollo, incluyendo el VIH. Y esta idea tiene sentido, especialmente cuando se considera que el sistema financiero mundial vale setenta y dos veces más que el PIB mundial y que un impuesto único sobre transacciones financieras de sólo el 0,05% en el mercado de derivados globales por sí solo podría recaudar unos 68 mil millones de dólares por año. Bueno, parece que sabemos dónde está el dinero.

En términos de estrategia nos gustaría ver a ONUSIDA involucrada más activamente en el debate sobre “Alianzas”. El MDG 8 hizo un llamamiento a Alianzas Globales dirigidas por los gobiernos. Sin embargo, hemos observado el poder de las corporaciones yendo más allá de la noción institucional de “gobierno que gobierna”, erosionando la infraestructura de los servicios públicos ya construida. Para el VIH es fundamental, porque un alto número de alianzas para el desarrollo de medicamentos esenciales no es transparente, no hay participación social y realmente están socavando la sostenibilidad de los sistemas de salud. Está sucediendo en este exacto momento, por ejemplo, en mi propio país, Brasil. Otra cuestión importante es que el modelo de alianzas actual ha reducido a la sociedad civil como subcontratista y aliada en la implementación, excluyéndosela del espacio para las discusiones políticas sobre enfoques alternativos. Como resultado, los programas relacionados a abogacía crítica, derechos humanos e involucramiento civil están recibiendo menos y menos atención y recursos.

Recomendamos que un nuevo marco de desarrollo global incluya una meta que promueva alianzas entre las NNUU, los gobiernos y la sociedad civil en todos los niveles. Además, se deben incluir indicadores para medir la existencia de un entorno legal que permita el trabajo de la sociedad civil y se haga responsable por la ejecución de los recursos, especialmente para el trabajo de abogacía – Por lo tanto, vemos el fortalecimiento de los Sistemas Comunitarios como un área clave para que ONUSIDA promueva el marco Post 2015.

En este sentido, si la respuesta al sida es única exactamente por su involucramiento significativo de personas viviendo con VIH, también lo es por los activistas del sida. Por lo tanto, para algunos Estados miembros es hora de dejar de tratar a gays, transexuales, lesbianas, intersexuales, personas que usan drogas y trabajadoras sexuales, mujeres y niñas, entre otros, como sus enemigos y comenzar a tratarlos como ciudadanos de sus países. Sabemos que no habrá sostenibilidad alguna en el modelo de desarrollo Post 2015 si los derechos humanos de todas las personas no son respetados.

Finalmente, nos gustaría concluir diciendo cómo estamos felices con la aprobación de la Reunión de Alto Nivel de 2016. Como ustedes saben, fue una idea nacida en esta Junta Coordinadora del Programa y la sociedad civil ejerció un papel importante al presionar por esa agenda. Agradecemos a los Estados miembros quiénes han hecho esta idea posible. Esperamos colaborar y participar en la planificación de la reunión, que creemos que va a contribuir enormemente para que no se deje de lado ninguno de nuestros asuntos de discusión.

¡Muchas gracias!

Intervention at the 34th PCB on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

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NGO Delegate Alessandra Nilo, Latin America and the Caribbean

“The NGO Delegation welcomes the paper tabled at this PCB, which notes that there were improvements in the UNAIDS work related to the Post 2015 Agenda. We are happy to see that this paper stresses the link between HIV and development, and reaffirms that the epidemic is far from over. It explicitly mentions that it is increasing among key populations and that the costs of treatment and the punitive laws that criminalize same-sex relations and HIV transmission are among the great barriers we face nowadays. We remain concerned, however that at the Open Working Group, HIV has not received the necessary attention and that some of our AIDS- related issues – sexual rights, sexuality education, gender identity – were not included in the outcome documents. The increasing presence of conservative forces at the UN indicates that people who have been historically left behind will remain left behind because despite all commitments affirming their interlinkages[1], there is still a dangerous disconnection between development and human rights. This is unacceptable and this will have strong and negative impact on HIV responses at all levels. In terms of “language’, instead of only having a target about “ending aids”, we also want to see specific reference to “universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support”. This way, we go beyond the usual appeal for the sense of urgency and articulate a more sophisticated and critical analyses, with clear propositions on how to move forward, by pushing for policies and programs that are universal, comprehensive, non-discriminatory, of high quality, and free of charge. The task ahead is not an easy one. We still lack the necessary political will to implement the needed legal reforms, as we see many governments hostaged by an economic system so deeply unbalanced, that eradication of the concentration of wealth becomes more complex than the eradication of poverty and HIV all together. The UNAIDS paper also reminds us that the funds for HIV are not increasing and that the SDGs need to commit resources to establish long lasting solutions. Common but differentiated responsibilities are essential when considering the means of implementation. Official development assistance is a key element and should remain a priorityas funds for AIDS cannot come solely from national budgets. The data shows that domestic resources, especially in countries facing extreme and high poverty rates, are not sufficient to finance health and AIDS-related social determinants. That’s why CS is calling for a progressive tax system worldwide and for global financial transactions taxes as both a regulatory measure, as well as a systemic revenue generator, to be applied for sustainable development, including HIV. And this idea really makes sense, especially when considering that the global financial system[2] is worth seventy-two times more than the global GDP and that one single financial transaction tax of only 0.05% on the global Derivatives market alone could raise about 68 billion US dollars per year. Well it looks like we know where the money is. In terms of strategy we also would like to see UNAIDS engaging more actively in the debate about “Partnership”. MDG 8 called for Global Partnerships driven by governments. However, we have seen the power of corporations going beyond the institutional notion of “government-ruling state”, eroding the already built public services infrastructure. For HIV it is key, because a high number of partnerships for the development of essential drugs are not transparent, has no social participation, and are really undermining the sustainability of health systems. It is happening right now, for instance, in my own country, Brazil. The other important issue is that the current partnership model has reduced civil society to subcontractors and implementing partners, removing the space for policy discussions on alternative approaches. As a result, critical advocacy, human rights and civic engagement-related programs are receiving less and less attention and resources. We recommend that the new global development framework include a target that promotes partnerships between the UN, governments and civil society at all levels. Additionally, indicators must be included to measure the existence of an enabling legal environment for civil society work and accounts for the implementation of resources especially for advocacy work – Therefore we see Community Systems Strengthening as a key area for UNAIDS to push in the post 2015 framework. In this regard, if the AIDS response is unique exactly because of the meaningful engagement of people living with HIV, as well as AIDS advocates. Therefore it time for some member states to stop treating gay, transgender, lesbians, intersex, people who use drugs and sex workers, women and girls, among others, as their enemies and start treating them as a citizens of their countries.. We know that that there will be no sustainability in any post 2015 development model if the human rights of all people are not respected. Finally, we would like to finish by saying how happy we are with the approval of the 2016 High Level Meeting. As you know, it was an idea born at this PCB and civil society played an important role in pushing this agenda. We thank the member states who made this idea a reality. We are looking forward to collaborating and participating in the planning of the meeting, which we believe will immensely contribute to leaving none of our constituencies behind.

Intervention at the 34th PCB on the report of UNAIDS co-sponsors

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NGO Delegate Dasha Ocheret, Europe
To the chair of the Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations (CCO)

“Thank you for your report of the Chair of the Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations. The NGO Delegation appreciates the work that co-sponsors jointly do to strengthen the AIDS response on global and national levels, and your acknowledgement of the central role of civil society, people living with HIV and key populations in the AIDS response.

That said, civil society would welcome more leadership and coordination among Co-sponsors in preventing and responding to crisis situations which occur in different countries across all regions and often limit access to HIV services, reverse gains in the response and undermine efforts to prevent new HIV infections and AIDS deaths in these countries.

The ongoing crisis in Crimea and Eastern parts of Ukraine, which has been mentioned by in the Executive Director’s report, has seen hundreds of people living with HIV and those who use drugs being left without access to vitally important treatment including opioid substitution treatment with methadone and buprenorphine. Stock-outs of both ARVs and drug treatment are emerging, making access and adherence to HIV treatment problematic. Dozens of deaths have been already registered, and more are expected if co-sponsors do not intervene.

The situation that was born out of the enactment of the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda, with the closing of clinics providing services to men who have sex with men, and the arrests and harassment of people perceived to be part of this community is another one of such crises.

There is need for a higher level of engagement by co-sponsors, including providing political and technical support towards the response and the development and adoption of a contingency plans to prevent and pre-empt such crises.”

Intervention at the 34th PCB on Leadership in the AIDS Response

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NGO Delegate John Rock, Asia and the Pacific

To Sir Andrew Witty (CEO, GaxoSmithKline) and Subhanu Saxena (CEO, Cipla)

“The Delegation applauds the recognition of the central role of treatment and the need for innovation and leadership if we are going to reach the goal of ending AIDS. We are also pleased to see both generic and originator manufacturers talk on the subject, especially given that it was generic competition that led the prices of ARVs down and enabled the progress made so far in getting people in the developing world onto treatment. It is however going to require the cooperation of many players to ensure affordable and sustainable access to treatment for the future. As the number of people on treatment rises because of new infections, people living longer, and the benefits of starting treatment early including proven lowering of infectiousness, the task is huge. The players include not only those who develop and manufacture ARVs, diagnostics and treatments for HCV and TB, but also donors, governments and above all communities themselves, without whose cooperation and central involvement a ‘test and treat’ strategy will never work.

To end AIDS the strategy must be to achieve undetectable community viral load. To do that we have to be able to measure it, to have better and more robust first line regimens with fewer side effects, and affordable second and third line regimes, in every country across the world, for this is a global epidemic. The right to health is a basic human right. It is also in the interest of all countries to enable their citizens to live long and productive lives. This right should not be pitted against the drive for more and more profits by manufacturers who see the potential of selling more ARVs at higher prices because of their monopoly rights through patents and other barriers of second and third line regimens, and diagnostics, which will all become critically important in lowering community viral load to undetectable levels. But that potential of large profits will never be realized because countries cannot and will not afford such high prices. and people like me who develop drug resistance will die. They will die because the world community will have failed to jointly address the problem.

The time for coveting large profits from Middle Income Country markets, negotiating FTAs with TRIPS+ clauses, opposing the use of compulsory licences, restricting voluntary licences, and originator pharmaceutical companies buying out generic companies, has long since come to an end.

Yes to innovation, yes to true leadership on universal access, but unless there is collaboration and cooperation by all stakeholders towards an agreed goal of affordable, effective and sustainable treatment for all, using whatever strategies best serve the world community, we will fail.

Living with HIV or dying from AIDS should not depend on where you live or the average per capita GDP of your country. The fruits of science, which is a human endeavour, should, especially in health, be available to all humanity, not just a select few. If innovation and leadership require the development of a new paradigm to reach that goal, then let’s do it.”

Meet the NGO Delegation in Melbourne at AIDS 2014

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The NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) will be holding an interesting and engaging session at the upcoming World AIDS Conference. Titled ‘Meet the Experts,’ this interactive session will allow the audience to gain a better understanding of what the NGO Delegation does, how it works within the UNAIDS PCB, and how they ensure civil society concerns from around the world are channeled to and addressed by the UNAIDS Secretariat.

The session will take place on Monday July 21, 14:30-16:00 at Claredon Room D&E. In attendance will be delegation members from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America.

Looking very much forward to seeing you there.

Updates from the 34th UNAIDS PCB July1-3, 2014

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For minute by minute updates from the PCB, as well as decision points and interventions put forward by the NGO Delegation and Civil Society observers, please visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Outputs from the 34th PCB will be compiled and posted on this website shortly following the end of the meeting.

Please note that this website is in the process of updating with a new interface being published in the coming weeks. We thank you for your patience, interest, attention and support.


Daily civil society debriefs during PCB

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Dear civil society colleagues and representatives,

The NGO Delegation invites you to join us at daily debriefs on July 1 and July 2 following sessions to share feedback, discuss ideas, and plan for the next day. All are welcome to come to WHO room EB110. Looking forward to seeing you there.

The 34th Meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board

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The 34th meeting of the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will be taking place July1-3, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting brings various offices and branches of UNAIDS together with member states, co-sponsoring agencies, and the NGO delegation to review, analyze, plan, and carry forward. The last day of the meeting centres around the thematic segment on ‘Addressing social and economic drivers of HIV through social protection.’

For more information, including agenda, recommendations, and reports of previous meetings, please click here.

Highlights of global civil society calls

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The following are highlights of discussions during the global civil society calls in preparation for the 34th UNAIDS PCB Meeting. Even though the participation was diverse, many common elements were raised and discussed from all around the world. This year, 3 calls were held bringing together diverse representations and NGO Delegation members: 1) Africa/Asia and the Pacific/Europe; 2) Americas (English); 3) Americas (Spanish).

For information from the Spanish language call, please click here.

The NGO Delegates are being asked to raise these issues during the PCB meeting and to Michel Sidibe directly:

1. The spate of anti-homosexuality and anti-LGBT laws in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and (parts of) North America and how UNAIDS is responding to these developments;

2. The involvement of the pharmaceutical industry in shaping the political agenda and strategic directions of the UN and Global Fund, as well as in treatment and drug pricing dynamics;

3. The need for UNAIDS and member states to step up in their advocacy to ensure that HIV and AIDS is not lost in the post-2015 development agenda, including confirmation of a high-level meeting (HLM) on HIV/AIDS in 2016;

4. The need for enhanced indicators on civil society engagement, more robust assessment, and transparent reporting for UNAIDS and its co-sponsors resulting from the mid-term review of the 2012-2015 UNAIDS Unified Budget and Results Accountability Framework (UBRAF); and,

5. The need to assess whether the UNAIDS restructuring has resulted in better human resource performance, including assessment of the effectiveness of deploying staff from global to regional offices versus country offices, where the need is actual and greatest.

On PCB Meetings:

6. The need to ensure that input from community must be taken into account in the planning and finalization of the Thematic Segment and that outcomes and reports reflect actual discussions and demands;

7. The call for UNAIDS to support CSO speakers, particularly from key populations and PLHIV networks, to enable their participation in the Thematic Segment of the PCB; and,

8. The issue of Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as the keynote speaker to speak on “Leadership in the AIDS Response” and how civil society inputs and positions regarding this issue is taken into account by the UNAIDS leadership.

Global Call for Civil Society for PCB 34

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Dear colleagues and friends,

The 34th United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) meeting will take place on July 1-3, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Key agenda items include the AIDS response in the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the mid-term review and progress reporting of the implementation of the UNAIDS 2012-2015 Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF). Other agenda items include the report from UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe and the Co- Cosponsoring Organizations. Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, has also been invited by UNAIDS to deliver a keynote message on leadership in the HIV response. On July 3, the meeting will include a thematic segment on “Addressing social and economic drivers of HIV through social protection”.

In this light, we would like to invite you to provide inputs and feedback on the various agenda items through a Global Conference Call with the NGO Delegation. The call for Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Europe will be held on June 11, 2014 from 4-5pm ICT – GMT+7. The call for North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America will be held on June 11, 2014 from 8-9pm ICT – GMT+7. The call in Spanish-speaking constituencies will be held on June 12, 2014 from 9-10pm ICTGMT+7. To check your local time for this call, please click here.

Please, confirm your participation to no later than June 9, 2014. As the call can only accommodate a limited number of participants, we request you to confirm early. We will be sending the teleconference link with detailed instructions on how to participate in the call, as well as the agenda for the discussion, to our confirmed participants on June 10, 2014.

For more information on the 34th UNAIDS PCB meeting, please click here.

NGO Delegation update – May 2014 newsletter

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In This Issue:

  • Update: 34th UNAIDS PCB Meeting Will be Held in July
  • FTT & HIV
  • UBRAF Mid Term Review
  • Thematic Working Group Updates
  • AIDS 2014 Melbourne Declaration in The Making


Update: 34th UNAIDS PCB Meeting Will be Held in July

The upcoming 34th PCB Meeting will take place on 01 – 03 July 2014 in Geneva. The topic for the 34th PCB Thematic Segment has been decided as “Addressing Social and Economic Drivers of HIV Through Social Protection”.

The PCB NGO Delegation ensures that the priorities and interests of affected people, constituencies and communities are considered in UNAIDS decisions and policies. The NGO Delegation already knows of certain confirmed elements of this meeting. We are in the process of ensuring the voices of affected people are powerfully represented.

More information & documents for meeting will posted on the NGO Delegation’s website as soon as they become available.

Governance Key Documents:


Financial Transaction Tax & HIV

In the past year, Civil Society Organizations worldwide from different fields of work have closely followed the United Nation’s Member States’ deliberations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. They have welcomed invitations to contribute through online or in-person consultations and have been suggesting development alternatives, analysis and comprehensive recommendations throughout this process.

Despite these efforts, the CSOs are alarmed that within the Post-2015 discussions, little seems to be underway to reverse the trend of doing business as usual. CSOs note that the UN is about to lose the opportunity to transform the current vicious cycle of development focused on economic growth alone that fuels inequalities, inequities, environmental degradation and marginalization into a virtuous cycle where human rights and justice prevail.

Despite the statement of the UN Secretary General that “no one will be left behind”, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not on track to be built on the essential priorities for a sound and effective Post-2015 global agenda, namely “human rights and dignity for all.”

Alessandra Nilo, the NGO Delegate from Latin America and The Caribbean was a keynote speaker at the United Nations General Assembly Partnerships Thematic Debate in New York, USA last April 9, 2014. Watch her amazing speech here.


UBRAF Mid Term Review

On March 27, members of the NGO Delegation joined the UNAIDS Secretariat, Co-Sponsors, and Member States in Geneva as part of a multi-stakeholder consultation to review progress in meeting the goals of the UNAIDS 2011-2015 Strategy. Since 2011, the mechanism used to detail, track, and report on progress toward meeting UNAIDS’ goals is the Unified Budget, Results, and Accountability Framework, known as UBRAF. This consultation was designed to gather input on the midterm review of the UBRAF which will be presented in full at the 34th PCB in July.

The consultation opened with an overview of the context of the global HIV epidemic, with particular focus by Michel Sidibe on emerging political challenges to the protection of basic human rights. Sidibe spoke of the need to reach those who have been left behind in access to prevention, treatment and care as a major challenge for 2015 and beyond. Echoing the NGO Report presented to the PCB last December, he called for better data that is disaggregated so we know what works for different populations. He spoke against rising conservatism and fundamentalism that threatens the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and youth, and the safety and health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, specifically pointing to laws in Uganda, Nigeria, Russia, and India. Noting the twenty African countries without homophobic laws and the approximately forty non-African counties with homophobic laws, Sidibe warned that we need to support the African countries that don’t have homophobic laws rather than label and attack the entire continent as homophobic. He argued that fundamentalism and lack of human rights for LGBT people is not an African problem, but rather a global problem, and needs to be understood and discussed as such. Further, Sidibe argued that making the link between violence against women, economic security, and HIV should be made central to the HIV response. Read the full article here.


Thematic WG on Addressing Social and Economic Drivers of HIV Through Social Protection

At its 33rd meeting in December 2013, the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) agreed that the subject for the 34th PCB Thematic Segment would be: “Addressing Social and Economic Drivers of HIV Through Social Protection”. This Thematic Segment will take as its starting point the focus of social protection in mitigating poverty, exclusion and inequality and bringing to scale emerging evidence on the preventive, protective and promotive role of social protection in the AIDS response.

The UNAIDS Secretariat convenes a PCB working group, in which NGO Delegation takes active part. This Working Group provides support and guidance for the development of the thematic session, including the Background Note, agenda and the format of the session. In particular, the Working Group will provide technical and strategic inputs and advice on:

(1) Drafting the outline and background paper of the 34 PCB thematic segment session

(2) Identifying country examples and best practices (call for submission of country proposals)

(3) Drafting the agenda and format of the thematic day

The Working Group will take into account the draft outline proposed by UNAIDS as well as the template for the proposed theme as endorsed by the Board at its 33rd meeting.

The NGO Delegation has convened the first call to gather inputs from civil society partners to be submitted to the Secretariat. More calls will be convened in the near future. If you are interested in sending your inputs, you can email it to


AIDS 2014 Melbourne Declaration in The Making

At each of the International AIDS Conference (IAC) HELD every two years, a high level statement is produced calling upon global solidarity toward ending HIV and specifically highlighting issues which are holding us back.

Prior examples of International AIDS Conference declarations include:

The Vienna Declaration: A global call to action for science-based drug policy - click here

Turning the Tide Together: A Declaration to End the AIDS Epidemic – click here

To this end, the Conference Coordination Committee of AIDS 2014 has drafted an AIDS 2014 Melbourne Declaration calling upon the world’s communities to ensure that the human rights of key affected populations are upheld in the pursuit of equality and a right to health of all people. The CCC of AIDS 2014 together with Civil Society around the globe are currently finalizing the draft of the declaration for the upcoming International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.


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The Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) is the governing body of UNAIDS. It is made up of 22 voting Member States, 11 UN Cosponsors and an NGO Delegation consisting of 5 delegates and 5 alternates. The NGO Delegation brings to the PCB the perspectives and expertise of people living with, most affected by, and most at risk of or vulnerable to HIV, as well as civil society and nongovernmental entities actively involved in HIV and AIDS. The Delegation works to ensure that human rights and equitable, gender-sensitive access to comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support are reinforced by the policies, programmes, strategies and actions of the PCB and UNAIDS.

To learn more, you can visit our website at or contact Suksma Ratri, Communications & Consultations Facility, at If you are not already a subscriber, please join our mailing list.

Community Response Case Studies Survey

Blog2 May 2014 by Suksma Ratri[PDF][print]

Dear Colleagues,

We are looking for case studies of community responses to HIV that show evidence of impact. We are writing to you in the hope that you can provide us with examples that can be instructive for other colleagues who are planning programmes and engaged in action to scale up quality responses.  Robust community systems are an integral element for success in the response to HIV and the achievement of universal access.

To inform the inclusion and scale up of community responses in National Strategic Plans and Global Fund Concept Notes, UNAIDS and the Stop AIDS Alliance* have requested ASAP (AIDS Strategy Advocacy and Policy) to collect examples of community responses that demonstrate impact and show “what works” to expand service delivery, accessibility and equity.

In order to provide examples of effective community responses we would be very grateful if you could complete the following short survey and also share with us the evidence explaining how your programme has had an impact, The survey is designed to collect promising case studies, which will then be documented and an analysis of the findings will be presented later on in 2014 (expected publication July 2014). You will find the survey here:

Deadline for this survey is 9 May 2014

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Representing Civil Society on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board