Thank you, Madame Chair.
The NGO Delegation would like to highlight the relevance of Strategic Investment Framework (SIF) as it was referenced several times during the thematic segment yesterday on Combination Prevention.
The NGO Delegation appreciated his Excellency Ambassador Mboya’s willingness to dialogue on issues concerning civil society’s role in the SIF, capacity needs, alignment of initiatives and approaches to community mobilization and community-led delivery of programs and costs. We would like to highlight that community mobilization is essential in all aspects of HIV response; however, community mobilization will only work if there is sufficient investment in programmes for communities that critically enable them, including those programmes that inform communities of their rights related to HIV (prevention, treatment and non-discrimination) and help them to organize and demand improved HIV services and policy.
We welcome the recently developed tool “A people-centered investment tool toward ending AIDS”. We support its principles that are at the foundation of the framework notably:
- targeting resources to key populations and people living with HIV;
- supporting evidence-based interventions;
- and keeping a focus on critical enablers including the social determinants of HIV and health;
As the tool was only shared with the NGO Delegation last Thursday, we have had very little room for meaningful consultation prior to the PCB meeting; however, we would like to continue to point out that the framework still requires improvement in many areas.
The PCB NGO Delegation stands by and has been expressing support for the underlying principle of human rights initially evident in this framework so we were surprised to learn that the language around social enablers such as community mobilization, addressing law and legal environment, and synergies with development sectors are not explicitly evident in this last version of the tool. It is also missing any clear references about the advocacy role civil society plays to allow the HIV response to be sustainable. This was discussed in detail on the first day of the PCB
Despite mentioning local production, the new tool to a lesser extent acknowledges the current political and legal environment we are in. There is still a strong need to address the barriers created by the intellectual property enforcement agenda with trade-related negotiations, which continues to undermine countries’ abilities to make use of TRIPS flexibilities. A significant number of challenges continue: for example, technology transfer is currently not taking place to least-developed countries – despite Article 66 of TRIPS, among others. In this context, even an investment of 30-50 million USD for the establishment of a medicines production facility in developing countries will not deliver favorable results.
Therefore, we see this tool only as one element of the investment planning. The more comprehensive analysis and guiding principles, particularly those related to understanding around the critical enablers, synergies with development sectors and community mobilization, must be provided to ensure that this investment plan is relevant in the current socio-political and economic context.
Given that UNAIDS has already been spearheading the ‘learning exercises’ in many regions with the attempt to seek solutions for some of the issues mentioned, we would like UNAIDS to continue to explore these questions while having concrete, time-bound and tangible targets for involving civil society in this process and more broadly for the investment made by UNAIDS on providing countries with the tool to implement the commitments in the 2011 Political Declaration.
We would also like to see better synergies and coordination across the UN family (UNAIDS and Co-sponsors) in technical support provision within the context of strategic investment at a country level. We would like UNAIDS to use its convening power at a country level to bring relevant stakeholders, including health and finance/trade ministries AND civil societies – both providing services and those advocating for improved response – to discuss the implications and applicability of the SIF in national context and ensure these consultations are well planned and in an articulated way.
In this spirit, the NGO Delegation would like to see a coherent consultative roadmap for the Strategic Investment Framework and comprehensive elaborated guidelines to help countries planning their investment.
At the PCB level, we strongly call for UNAIDS to ensure the documents developed for the Strategic Investment Framework consultations are translated into Spanish and French and are made available at the same time as the documents in English to allow Spanish speaking countries as well as Francophone African member states to prepare on time. The PCB NGO Delegation supports the call to continue consultations on the SIF to adhere to the timeframes as agreed at PCB meeting (30th PCB meeting).
Finally, we would like to re-iterate that civil society in all regions remain committed to working closely with UNAIDS and Member States to ensure that both domestic and external resources are mobilized and targeted where they will deliver the best results, and that funding in HIV is an investment in the future development of communities, trade and economic as well as health and discourage the paradigm of HIV funding being purely a social cost - as rightly pointed out in the consultation process by His Excellency Ambassador Mboya.