The PCB took note of the report of the NGO representative and the concerns expressed therein, such as the impact of political instability and changes. It noted the NGO recommendation that the role of laws and treaties concerning illicit drugs, and their relationship to the spread of HIV, be examined by UNAIDS and discussed at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS.
Each year, the NGO Delegation submits a report to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) to bring the perspectives of affected communities from the grassroots level to the board. Broad input collected by the NGO Delegates from civil society informs the NGO report.
The PCB also took note of the NGO delegates’ support for the need, identified by the Executive Director in his report, to provide specific and targeted support to the different regions, each with different transmission dynamics of their own.
The PCB recommended that UNAIDS Cosponsors and Secretariat assess their respective capacities to engage civil society networks in their areas of work, develop clear policies and strategies and allocate resources to ensure that civil society, particularly people living with HIV/AIDS, are fully engaged in the design, implementation and evaluation of HIV/AIDS programmes.
The PCB expressed grave concern about continuing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and members of vulnerable groups such as women and young girls, sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, victims of sexual abuse and prisoners. The PCB urged that programmes be scaled up to combat HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.
The PCB confirms that NGO delegates are represented by organizations and not individuals; confirms that the maximum term of office for any NGO delegate is three years; and approves exceptionally a one-year extension of term for OASIS as the NGO delegate for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The PCB welcomes the report of the NGO Representative and, in particular, requests that the UNAIDS Secretariat and Cosponsors continue prioritizing support to communities and vulnerable groups in budgeting and in programme implementation, and clearly reflect funding allocation for these groups in the UBW reporting.
The Programme Coordinating Board welcomes the report of the nongovernmental organizations and recognizes civil society as a key partner; and
urges UNAIDS to lead in the development of a long-term strategy to enable access to resources by civil society to support and sustain the scale-up of their enormous human resource contribution toward implementation of HIV prevention, care, treatment and support activities worldwide.
This year, the NGO Delegation report focuses on the importance of the legal environment to national HIV response. Last year, our report focused specifically on stigma and discrimination and its impact on the access to prevention and care services. This year, our report complements the information collected last year from more than 1000 respondents.
In 2011, we conducted a series of 27 focus groups in which approximately 250 participants from every region of the world participated, covering a broad range and diversity of people. All focus groups were developed with the same methodology ensuring a common result. The feedback and commitment all participants have shown is strong evidence of the need to share their experiences and also to bring solutions so that others avoid suffering similar violations and abuses.
These encourage us to be messengers of their experiences and voices.
The NGO Delegation is in a very difficult position today. In preparing the NGO report, we undertook an in-depth process of gathering testimonials from our respective constituencies around the planet. We heard terrible, heart breaking stories of injustices, which many of us experience and witness first hand ourselves on a day-to-day basis. The only logical starting position given what we heard and given what many of us know as the truth is to ask that unwarranted criminalization and punitive treatment of people living with and most affected by HIV stop – first because it is wrong and second because it is fueling AIDS.
Now we invite you to see the video that summarizes the report with the voices and faces of the real actors.
The NGO Delegation presented its 2011 NGO Report on legal environments and HIV responses at the 29th UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board meeting on 13 December 2011.
To support the presentation and its report, the NGO Delegation has produced a short video featuring interviews from people working in the HIV field and who have been affected by HIV. The video highlights the effects of laws and policies, both on a wide-scale and personally, and offers important recommendations for policy-makers.
Sean Strub, founder of POZ Magazine and Senior Advisor to rthe Positive Justice Project, has been an important supporter of the NGO Delegation during the development of this year’s NGO Report on legal environments and HIV responses.
On 28 November 2011, NGO Delegate for Europe, Mat Southwell, presented an overview of the 2011 NGO Report at a UNAIDS Member States meeting in Geneva ahead of the Programme Coordinating Board gathering from 13-15 December. After the presentation, States had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss its findings.