Delivered by Gastón Devisich, Latin America and the Caribbean, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
Thank you, Moderator.
Before getting to our wonderful intervention, I would like to thank the wonderful female speakers, who so kindly have mansplained manhood to us.
We have missed the mark and I wonder what would have happened should it have been the other way around having a predominantly men panelist addressing the needs of women being left behind. This only proves that this is not a matter of just gender or misogyny but one of ownership. Allowing people to speak out for themselves is an issue we need to work on.
The NGO Delegation commends the celebration of this very needed Thematic Segment.
This is an opportunity to shed light to those who have no voice, but not because they can’t speak but because they are not listened to. People who our societies often wish not to see, people who are made responsible for their outcomes, who have it coming for stubbornly “choosing a way of life they could easily avoid”. They resist and for that they’re made to pay. They’re to blame for their failures, while the system takes pride in any of their accomplishments.This is also an opportunity to learn. But in order to incorporate knowledge, space needs to be made for it. We can’t learn when we are convinced we already know it all. The course of the HIV response won’t be corrected by repeating the same mistakes again and again and expecting a different result. Today, we got to hear how men in all their diversities are stepping up to the challenge and setting the example themselves . They are survivors, but not because of overcoming HIV but for navigating poor health-systems that are actively trying to exclude them on a daily basis.
Nonetheless, getting the HIV response back on track depends on much more than having these experiences highlighted, it requires the commitment of all of us in this room to do better and really be there for those who need it. We need to do what it takes to tackle the societal barriers that are distancing these and all people from accessing the quality of life we deserve.
But now, if you want to program for men being left behind, summon us. Invest in us, perform research with us, prioritize us. Involve us meaningfully in your interventions addressing us across their design, development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination.
We need you walking side by side with us. Here, throughout the Joint Programme and in every single country.
Tags: 51st PCB Meeting
Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Alliance Uganda - represented by Martha Clara Nakato
Martha Clara Nakato is a Health Rights Advocate who is skilled in program management, Policy Advocacy and youth movement building in the fields of HIV/AIDS, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Gender programming. She works with the SRHR Alliance Uganda as the Community of Action Facilitator for the WE LEAD program in Uganda.
Martha Clara is experienced in national and global HIV prevention and comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) advocacy with emphasis on the promotion of young people’s leadership in HIV prevention, access to SRHR and policy development. She has developed a strong national and regional reputation for championing community rights and needs in the HIV/AIDS response with her consistent efforts in fighting HIV inequalities like stigma and discrimination and advocating for progress in the implementation of innovative approaches that ensure adolescents, as well as key and marginalised populations have access to appropriate, responsive, quality HIV and SRHR services.
She is one of the Global Faces of the fight for the sixth Global Fund Replenishment and contributor to the “People’s Voice” for PEPFAR COP20. She continues to actively engage in the Global Fund and PEPFAR COP processes in her country to ensure young people’s needs are incorporated in these decision making platforms. She is also a former HIV Epidemic Response (HER Voice Fund) Ambassador and has engaged in various policy and advocacy decision making spaces both nationally and internationally.
Before taking up her role at SRHR Alliance, Martha worked as the Policy and Advocacy Officer at the Ugandan Network of Young People Living with HIV. (UNYPA).
The Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Alliance Uganda is a consortium of organisations that stand for and promote young people’s SRHR. Each organisation has a strong niche, expertise, and experience in key aspects of Policy and Advocacy, SRHR programming for vulnerable and marginalised groups of adolescents and young people at grassroots and national level.
The SRHR Alliance is comprised of Eight (8) founding members and over 40 affiliate community based, youth-led and women led organisations. The founding members are; Reproductive Health Uganda, Reach A Hand Uganda, Straight Talk Foundation, Family Life Education Program, Center for Health Human Rights & Development, Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV and AIDS, Restless Development, and the National Forum of People Living with HIV and AIDS Networks in Uganda.
The SRHR Alliance and all its members work towards strengthening youth leadership and ensuring that all young people in their diversity have access to high quality, responsive and youth friendly SRHR information and services within a supportive social and legal environment.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) - represented by Xavier Biggs
Xavier Biggs is the Monitoring & Evaluation Manager at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL). He has been working in Civil Society (CSO) for the last 12 years. He is credited for transforming monitoring, evaluation and learning at JASL and the wider HIV CSO response in Jamaica by establishing standardised tools and knowledge products that are hailed as best practices by partners and have been adapted and adopted locally and across the Caribbean. He also provides technical support to the Strategic Information Unit of the Ministry of Health and Wellness through his participation in a series of technical working groups. Xavier is passionate about data-driven intervention and tries to ensure that the programs designed for PLHIV and other Key Populations (i.e., MSM, Transgender and SW) are grounded in the correct context. His experience includes the management of donor projects including those facilitated by USAID/PEPFAR and the Global FUND. His training includes Knowledge Management for Global Health Professionals at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a First Degree in Social Policy and Development from the University of the West Indies and he is currently pursuing a Master's in Epidemiology. Xavier is also a car lover, enjoys road trips and listens to a wide range of music.
Delivered by Erika Castellanos, Europe, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
[translated from Spanish]
Thank you Chair.
The NGO delegation welcomes the Annual Evaluation Report and celebrates progress made in the crucial role of evaluations. We note the progress made in the evaluation plan despite the multiple challenges, including and most crucially the financial situation of UNAIDS.
The precarious financial situation has prevented the 1% allocation to evaluations and has limited the human resources to 2 staff with no administrative support. We would like to stress that the financial situation goes beyond the evaluation office and what is required is for Member States to stand up for the challenge not only to have a fully financed evaluation office but a fully resourced UNAIDS.
We invite Member States to consider the importance of evaluations and how evaluation can lead to a measure of impact on countries, on health systems and most importantly in human lives.
We welcome the planned consultative process to develop the subsequent evaluation plan and request that civil society and communities living with and affected by HIV play a central role in the consultations.
The NGO Delegation would like to stress the importance of evaluating the impact of the Joint programme and particularly UNAIDS offices at country level and look forward to results of the evaluation. I invite you to listen to communities on the ground on the impact that UNAIDS has had in policy change, access to treatment, in decriminalization efforts, in giving us a voice where our governments criminalize us and society kills us, and in improving the quality of life of people living with HIV.
To conclude, we ask that you Open your ears and listen, open your hearts to the call of communities but most importantly open your wallets to make the difference.
Delivered by Aleksey Lakhov, Europe, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
Thank you, Chair.
I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation.
We would like to thank members of the Informal Multi Stakeholder Task Team for their work and contributions.
“Core and non-core funds”, “UBRAF” and “resource mobilization” may seem like technical jargon but a fully funded Joint Programme is a prerequisite for the very survival of our communities - such as PLHIV, sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender persons, women and girls, people who use drugs, people in closed settings, as well as other priority populations. That is why PCB Member States will find envelopes on their tables, with the cheques inside for half a million or 1,000,000 US Dollars. We kindly urge you to sign them and make transfers to UNAIDS before the end of 2022, in line with the Task Team recommendations for Member States to step up and show up!
And it's just one of dozens ongoing humanitarian crises globally. 1,000,000 US Dollars is also less than 5 percent of the DAILY spend on the court that effectively ended the sexual health and reproductive right to an abortion for millions of women. According to the International AIDS Society statement, “the right to abortion is a critical link to HIV services."
Behind every dollar, euro, yuan, rupee, ruble, pula, franc, peso, rial, yen, shilling, krone, baht, dinar, and pound spent on HIV prevention, treatment and care, there is a story of a life saved. A story of Jumoke, and Xavier, and Gaston, and Mubanga, and Joyce, and Martha, and Midnight, and Charan, and Cecilia, and Christian, and Erika. And my own story.
Every minute during the last year, we have been losing a life due to AIDS-related causes. 650,000 stories have ended too soon. It is up to us to not let it happen again.
Delivered by Cecilia Chung, North America, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
The NGO delegation is heartened that through the Global Partnership and in-country offices, progress has been made to counter stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and key populations. We applaud the Global Partnership’s commitment in working with member countries to strengthen the capacity in community-led interventions in HIV response.
Yet as a transgender woman living with HIV who migrated from Asia to North America and a survivor of violence, I am keenly aware of the humanitarian crises that continue to hinder the efforts by civil society and communities on the ground.
If we skim the recent headlines, we will find the following:
HIV-related stigma and discriminations do not exist in a vacuum, they intersect with many other issues such as gender inequality, racial inequity, homophobia, transphobia, food insecurity and climate crisis. Addressing systemic and structural stigma and discrimination requires all of us to passionately respond with evidence-base programs and through radical law reform so that key populations, including sex workers and people who inject drugs, are not criminalised, The HIV pandemic will not end until everyone can access HIV prevention and treatments safely.
The NGO delegation believes that we must protect all the gains we achieved and increase the investment to design and scale up and implement effective services - and these can happen through a global strategic partnership. After all, how can we put a financial value on human lives and dignities.
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