50th PCB - Intervention by Cecilia Chung - Agenda item 2 Leadership in the AIDS Response

Delivered by Cecilia Chung, North America, on behalf of the NGO Delegation

The NGO delegation is heartened by the many challenges that the two speakers took notice of, especially around human rights, and the need for more community-led and people-centered interventions for HIV prevention and treatment.

It's interesting to be using the word leadership. We wholeheartedly agree that we need to fully replenish the global fund, we need to continue to invest in UNAIDS, but it seems like a double standard when some of the Member States have the same challenges in their own backyards – that they are yet to reduce punitive laws and discriminations against key populations. There is also another pandemic that I don't think that we've talked enough about. It's violence against women, which also contributes to the current HIV crisis, especially in Sub Saharan Africa. And even back home which is one of the biggest donors to the HIV response, the court is set to dial the gain on sexual and reproductive health and rights back by 50 years.

We thank Peter Sands for the leadership of the Global Fund in galvanizing donors for the up-coming replenishment, and would like to request that every opportunity for a strong message that donors must also support a fully funded Joint Programme as well. We also hope that within the new Global Fund strategy, more support will be given to key population-led interventions and capacity strengthening of key population-led organisations and networks. However, we do not support the use of matching funds as a fundraising strategy as it attaches more strings before the resources are dispersed

We also enthusiastically welcome the new leadership of PEPFAR, Dr. John Nkengasong. As a transwoman from the US, I have seen our opponents actively pass punitive laws that dehumanises transgender youth and seek to criminalise families and healthcare providers who chose to affirm their children and patients’ gender expression and identities. We look for your leadership to address this, and ensures that transgender women and transgender men are not being left behind.

The PEPFAR Vision 2025 Strategy must ensure that funding is channeled through and to local, indigenous key population-led organisations and networks and help to strengthen their capacity to do their work sustainainably.

The NGO delegation believes that if we really want to achieve the goals we set for HIV response by 2030, we should be doubling down on the investment and not asking for just pennies.

We have seen, with the COVID response and and also the effort to support Ukraine, how much resources can be allocated and sent. To that effort, if only half of that or even just 10% of that was invested in, the global health strategy, We believe we would have achieved health equity a long time ago. The NGO delegation would like to urge all Member States, Global Fund and UNAIDS to really take a stronger stance.

We need your leadership. Your courage to lead is just as important as the monetary support, thank you.


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