Delivered by Omar Syarif, Global Network of People Living with HIV
Honorable Chair and esteemed colleague,
My name is Omar Syarif and I thank you for the opportunity given to speak on behalf of The Global Network of People Living with HIV.
GNP+ welcomes and supports the Secretariat proposed timeframe of full UBRAF development process as well as biennial work plan and budget process, and further look forward to a comprehensive consultative process with all stakeholders in particular PLHIV and Key Populations groups.
We would also like to draw your attention to the funding environment for social enablers programming which will be key to achieve 2025 targets. In that regard, the new UBRAF should clearly indicate investment for communities as well as possibility for a co-financing mechanism between HIV sector and non-health sectors to ensure sufficient resourcing for the implementation of inequalities framework within the 2021-2026 GAS.
We have seen progress in financing community-led responses in the past few years such as the Robert Carr Funding mechanism, which not only provides support for crucial areas of advocacy and service deliveries but also supporting core funding to community groups for more sustainable and efficient community-led responses. At the same time, we have seen increased investment from GF and PEPFAR towards community-led initiatives, however such good practices need to be increased and replicated for broader coverage and achieve desired impact.
We expected a robust accountability framework which is capable of capturing the reality at grassroot level, and to do so it is critical for the framework to have a mechanism where civil society especially PLHIV and Key populations groups would be able to feed into, using data, findings and results from community-led responses.
Tags: Special Session
Delivered by Charanjit Sharma, Asia and the Pacific Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
Thank you chair,
I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation. First of all, I would like to thank the Secretariat for the comprehensive report to ECOSOC written on behalf of the PCB Bureau. The report will give ECOSOC an excellent overview of the evolution of the Joint Program and its unique governance structure which the report, rightfully so, highlights as a best practice for other UN organizations.
The NGO Delegation is pleased that a very turbulent period over the past 3 years where shortcomings in the governance and oversight of the Joint Program by the PCB were brought to light, culminates in this report to ECOSOC. The PCB has shown leadership in handling very delicate matters and was able to reach a consensus on ways to improve the governance of the Joint Program and oversight and accountability by the PCB.
Furthermore, the NGO Delegation appreciates the paragraphs in the report that underlines the paramount importance of the NGO Delegation for the efficacy of the Joint Program and reaffirms the decision points agreed upon at the 47th PCB meeting.
The recommendations of the report to ECOSOC are to the point and the NGO Delegation urges ECOSOC to take the right steps to put the recommendations into action.
Delivered by Jumoke Patrick, Latin America and the Caribbean Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
Thank you, Chair.
I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation. One of the most exciting aspects of the new Global AIDS Strategy we adopt today, is the significant scaling up of community delivery and programming. As NGO Delegation members of this PCB, we expect that this will translate into full and equal involvement of civil society and communities in the new UNAIDS Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework development and will result in sustainable civil society and community funding. For too long we have seen strategy consultations and global commitments include ourselves and our communities, before turning around and deliberately excluding us from essential budgeting processes and decisions. We cannot continue being left out of decision-making processes and to be treated unfairly as just target objects and numbers to fulfil country and global fast track targets. Nor can we continue to be excluded from data collection processes on a national and regional level - see that some data collected through governmental institutions are divergent and not in line with what we, in the communities, see and experience. We need to focus on strengthening the data collection of and by communities as we strengthen our participation in UBRAF and other budget processes.
Yesterday we heard Peter Sands from the Global Fund say he didn't think the full strategy budget could be funded yet and that tough choices would have to be made, and that technology, granular use of data, efficiencies, and other avenues would need to be explored. We assume he means those avenues to be with, and in communities as much as they are elsewhere. And we assume that the UBRAF will reflect this. Communities ensure that key human rights and gender inequality issues are addressed; they ensure sustained evidence-based treatment and care services for those in need; and they ensure people remain at the centre of all that we jointly do. It will be a slippery slope taking us back decades if we begin to prioritize tools for efficiencies before communities and to fund the envisaged community scale up in the Global AIDS Strategy only with ‘leftover’ funds or “when we have enough funding”.
We support the call for a fully-funded UBRAF and encourage member states and those central to this decision to continue to be bold, innovative and strategic in supporting this. I thank you.
Delivered by Violeta Ross, Latin America and the Caribbean Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
The moment we are living
The NGO Delegation as a team, participated in the meetings that led to the development of the Global AIDS Strategy; we consulted our constituencies and collected their input.
Given the context of CRISIS IN HEALTH that we are living, the NGO Delegation thinks the full and fast adoption of the Strategy is of paramount importance. As we continue to discuss the Strategy in the PCB, we people living with HIV and affected communities, continue to see newly diagnosed young men, women and transgender women. Here on the ground, every day we see how discrimination and stigma are exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic; increasing social and health inequalities, with fatal individual and colective development results. Budgets for health are more limited than ever. Testing for HIV and timely treatment has been suspended and communication campaigns have been forgotten. HIV medications were delayed as well as comprehensive care for migrants and people who experience gender based violence . People with HIV are still dying in our countries. Many governments are focusing on the emergency response only and thus, postponing basic comprehensive healthcare and HIV prevention services. I experienced this myself and saw it in many other countries and regions; affecting entire communities and mainly, key and at risk populations.
But this crisis is an OPPORTUNITY only if we use this moment. If there was ever one moment in health history in which governments need more guidance, principles and a unified action framework for HIV, is THIS MOMENT. The cost of not adopting the Global AIDS Strategy in this particular time of history will have an even far worse impact in communities that are living with HIV and are exposed to it. Providing guidance and a unified action framework is precisely the role of the Joint Program. We, the PCB, must be accountable to our constituents and that includes taking important decisions in a timely manner; we must contribute to the guarantee of the right to health for all
Delivered by Dr. Karen BADALYAN, NGO Europe, on behalf of the PCB NGO Delegation
We as the representatives of regional, national and local civil society organizations and key population communities urge the adoption of the new Global AIDS Strategy and express our gratefulness to the efforts of the Chair, PCB member states, UNAIDS Secretariat, Co-Sponsors and global experts’ community in developing the new Strategy.
We especially welcome the Strategy central focus on human rights and gender equality. They are crucial to ending AIDS, especially in my sub-region in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where the epidemic is still growing, especially among key populations who continue to experience barriers in access to health and social services. Criminalization, discrimination, and stigmatization of key populations are the main drivers of the HIV epidemic in my sub-region. But we believe that fully and sustainably funded and properly implemented new Global AIDS Strategy has a potential to finally end AIDS at least in my sub-region. And this can only happen if community and key population voices are heard and listened to, communities, human rights, and gender equality are at the front and center of the Strategy and evidence-based HIV intervention are recognized, accepted and implemented.
And let me remind you that today is World TB Day with the theme of this year being the Clock is Ticking. We must all take steps to realize the TB UN HLM targets and commitments by 2023, in particular, in ensuring TB preventive therapy for PLHIV. As the Clock ticks, around the world, TB continues to be the number one killer of people with HIV. And yes - the Clock is Ticking and we must stand together to ensure that principles and values incorporated in the GAS will not be diluted, vice versa will help us to achieve our strategic goals worldwide.
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