UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegation Update: November 2013

In This Issue:

  • Update: 33rd UNAIDS PCB Meeting Is Closing In
  • Background Paper on Youth Thematic Segment
  • Lancet Commission
  • Welcome To The New Delegates
  • UBRAF Consultations

Update: 33rd UNAIDS PCB Meeting Is Closing In

The upcoming 33rd Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) meeting of UNAIDS will occur on 17-19 December 2013. The PCB NGO Delegation ensures that the priorities and interests of affected people, constituencies and communities are considered in UNAIDS decisions and policies. The NGO Delegation already knows of certain confirmed elements of this meeting. And we are in the process of ensuring the voices of affected people are powerfully represented.

Here are some confirmed highlights of the meeting so far:

Report from Michel Sidibé (the Executive Director of UNAIDS); Leadership in the AIDS Response; NGO Report; Report from Coordination of Technical Support; Strategic use of ARVs for treatment and prevention of HIV; AIDS in the Post-2015 Development Framework; and Thematic Segment on HIV, Adolescents and Youth.

Registration to the meeting (open until 30th November 2013):

Delegates are kindly requested to register for the meeting by using the following link to the electronic registration form: http://pcbregistration.unaids.org

Documentation for the meeting:

Agenda ( en | fr ) | Note Verbale ( en | fr ) | Information for participants ( en | fr )

Background Paper on Youth Thematic Segment

UNAIDS Thematic Days provide an opportunity for governments, United Nations Programs and members of Civil Society to convene a rich and interactive day of dialogue on a relevant topic ranging from food and nutrition to HIV and the Law. The Thematic Session for the December 2013 UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) will focus on “HIV, Adolescents and Youth.” The thematic day will provide an opportunity to examine the intersections of HIV and young persons between 10-24 years of age. Accordingly, it is expected that young persons will be key speakers throughout the thematic day, ensuring both real-life experiences and youth-led solutions are well captured and highlighted.

The “HIV, Adolescents and Youth” Thematic Day will be conducted in plenary and focus on five key areas throughout the day. One area will be scaled-up, evidence informed, youth-friendly programmes for adolescents and youth, especially young key populations. Here it will be essential to ensure that youth programmes are included in national strategic plans, and appropriately costed and earmarked in national budgets. This program must be reflective of youth consultation and inclusive approaches.

The second area to be included will be the expansion of efforts to integrate HIV programmes for young people, young key populations and young people living with HIV into a broader framework of sexual and reproductive health, ensure they are youth-friendly, and explore opportunities for linkages between the education, gender, social and child protection sectors and HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. This section should affirm the need for Comprehensive Sexuality Education to offer young people real opportunities to make healthy and informed decisions about sex, risk and prevention of HIV, STI’s, pregnancy and their overall reproductive health.

The third area to be addressed is the creation of enabling social and legal environments for adolescent and youth HIV programmes. This area will include discussion on programmes for young key populations, and revised age- and sex-related restrictions that prevent adolescents and young women and men from accessing effective HIV prevention, treatment and care, as well as sexual and reproductive healthservices. It will be imperative to have youth participants speak openly about both barriers and facilitators of access to health services that may not be immediately apparent, including punitive laws, harmful cultural norms and negative provider attitudes.

The forth area being covered will be working with young people as partners and supporting them as leaders in the HIV response. This segment will explore means of greater inclusion of young people in HIV-related national, regional and global decision-making and policy processes. The session will examine the practicalities of supporting meaningful participation of young persons throughout the HIV programme cycle, including design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Here it will be key for young people to share what support means for them as well as how they want and need to be tangibly included in decision-making processes.

The fifth and final area targeted to be covered is the collection, compilation and dissemination of data on all relevant Global AIDS Response Progress Reporting (GARPR) indicators that are relevant to young persons. This section will include examination of data on HIV treatment, disaggregated by age and sex, and tracking resources on AIDS spending categories that are relevant to young people for evidence-informed advocacy, policy-making and programming. This session can help ensure that the needs and gaps of young people are better reflected in reporting, prioritized in planning and validated by a more detailed data set.

Overall, the participation, experiences, best practices and solutions that are articulated from the youth participants will be the key component across all of the five areas. We hope that this will open up new parameters for ongoing advocacy and action on youth both with UNAIDS Board and within the respective planning mechanisms for government and United Nations entities alike that will be inclusive of and supported by youth stakeholders.

Welcome To The New Delegates

The recruitment process for new NGO Delegation members was carried out among the candidates who applied for vacant positions for the regions of Africa, Asia-Pacific,Latin America and The Caribbean, and North America. After the selection process by a panel formed by delegates and invitees from other international/regionalcivil society organizations, the following NGOs’ were selected to serve as representatives of their respective regions for the period 2014-2015.

Africa: AFROCAB (The African Community Advisory Board)to be representedbyKenlySikwese

Asia Pacific: APNSW (Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers) to be represented by Khartini Slamah

Latin America & The Caribbean: CRN+ (Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS) to be represented by Yolanda Simon

North America: GNP+ NA (Global Network of People Living with HIV-North America) to be represented by Laurel Sprague

We welcome them!

Unified Budget Results Accountability Framework (UBRAF) Consultations

Substantial change is potentially underway, measuring the overall performance of the UNAIDS Programme as well as the Programme’s performance in relation to Civil Society. UNAIDS is gearing up for its Mid-Term Review at the June 2014 PCB Meeting. As part of that process, the Secretariat hosted a technical consultation on programmatic and financial accountability on October 22nd. At this meeting, the work of two consultants, David Hales and Luisa Orza, was presented, making recommendations regarding the many indicators that are presently used to review UNAIDS performance. The key recommendation regarding the overall performance review was to relegate all but eight of the 122 indicators currently collected as background information, and to focus on the remaining eight key indicators as a set to evaluate the work of the joint program. This is intended to narrow the focus on actual outputs of the joint program, with two of the indicators clearly tying in financial accountability. The goal is a much more simplified way to review that only looks at the work of the programme itself.

The biggest change proposed is in relation to Civil Society. At the urging of the NGO Delegation, Orza was hired to review the Civil Society indicators, which have never been satisfactory to the NGO Delegation and to propose alternative ways of measuring UNAIDS’ work in that regard. As with the overall measures, the existing indicators would be left intact, but used only as background. Meanwhile, the consultant’s report, which was strongly endorsed by the NGO Delegation, recommended developing a new questionnaire based on Annex 5 of the UNAIDS guidance for partnerships with civil society, including people living with HIV, women and girls, and HIV and key populations. This will allow for better collection of directly attributable activity and outcomes by the Programme, working to strengthen Civil Society.

In addition, the consultants recommended that this questionnaire be supplemented by continued refinement of the UNAIDS Co-Sponsors’ Civil Society Working Paper, which was published as a supplement to the Unified Budget Results Accountability Framework (UBRAF) Performance Monitoring Report in April 2013 to reflect the collaborations with and resourcing of Civil Society. Finally, the report recommended the use of objective case studies that provide successes, illuminate gaps and highlight lessons learned. The NGO Delegation strongly supported these proposals, adding that the case studies should be prepared by an objective third party.

Many countries participating in the technical consultation strongly supported these recommendations. While the final report from the consultation has not yet been released, the NGO Delegation is hopeful that these proposed changes will better measure the Programme’s engagement with Civil Society, which, in many countries, is the only stakeholder representing and serving key populations.

The Post 2015 Agenda – Keep Both of Your Eyes On It!

The discussion on the new Strategic Development Goals (SDG) is nowadays a key agenda for the United Nations. As happened with the Millennium Development Goals – MDGs (that were even considered by many as reductionist when compared to the set of commitments made at the UN Social Cycle in the 90s, but is now referred as the most far-reaching action outlined by the UN), the indubitable point at this stage is how the Post 2015 goals are set will determine how resources and power will flow globally?

Formally, the Post 2015 framework is obliged to take in consideration the interrelationship between the social, economic and environmental fields. But, in fact, being born from Rio +20, it has been controlled mainly by the environment and financial players, including the powerful corporations, which imposes challenges for those advocating for the “others” social themes.

In the AIDS field it is more complex: while our politicians are highlighting the success of the MDG goal 6 (and we have accomplished a lot, no doubt), the “outsiders of the AIDS world” translate it as if it is an already solved problem, requiring no special space in the new SDGs. We do not agree with this view, but we know that in a context of fierce competition, including HIV as an important theme in the Post 2015 framework, it is a huge challenge posed to AIDS activists.

Facing a major inflection point and with no time to lose in strengthening the Civil Society advocacy work at national and global levels, the PCB NGO Delegation, besides bring engaged on the Civil Society Working Group on AIDS in the Post-2015 Agenda, is participating in the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission to explore HIV and global health in the Post-2015 debate, which established working groups to respond the questions: What will it take to end AIDS? How can lessons from the AIDS response inform global health? How must the AIDS and health architecture be modernized to achieve sustainable global health?

The Lancet Commission work will be finished by February, but for sure it is an initiative that Civil Society needs to engage with and monitor closely. This is especially so because one key question for us is still: how should AIDS feature in the post-2015 development discussions? Of course, it is not an easy question to answer. But when it comes to defending specific policies to overcome AIDS, “easy” is an adjective that has never been part of our vocabulary. Those who follow the theme in the upcoming PCB will see how this turns out….


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The Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) is the governing body of UNAIDS. It is made up of 22 voting Member States, 11 UN Cosponsors and an NGO Delegation consisting of 5 delegates and 5 alternates. The NGO Delegation brings to the PCB the perspectives and expertise of people living with, most affected by, and most at risk of or vulnerable to HIV, as well as civil society and nongovernmental entities actively involved in HIV and AIDS. The Delegation works to ensure that human rights and equitable, gender-sensitive access to comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support are reinforced by the policies, programmes, strategies and actions of the PCB and UNAIDS.

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