Delivered by Andrew Spieldenner, North America NGO Delegate
Thank you, Chair.
The NGO Delegation acknowledges the new format for UBRAF. Even though the information is spread out across several reports, it is easier to find the kind of information you need.
What does financial reporting have to do with Civil Society? Quite simply, it gives us a way of seeing how resources are accrued and spent in the UNAIDS context. We see some of the politics of resourcing at UNAIDS and where there are shortfalls. And civil society suffers in these shortfalls.
As our delegation has said over and over again, we need to restore full funding to the UNAIDS UBRAF as crucial for leveraging the full potential of the Joint Programme and accelerating progress towards the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Without full funding, this goal will remain a mirage in the distance. But, besides doing the housekeeping and restoring the UNAIDS credibility among donors, we need to lead UNAIDS to a sustainable and secured financial situation. At the heart of it, we assume we all share the vision that the HIV response remains a critical issue for our time.
We do note that there remains a lack of clarity in monitoring mechanisms for tracking resources involving community-led responses. When we see such little funding going to gender and gender-based violence, as well as stigma and anti-discrimination efforts, we wonder at how we reach a discrimination and stigma-free world.
The NGO Delegation urges the Joint Programme and Member States to increase the investment in civil society and community-led initiatives and their involvement in decision making. After the meetings last week on target setting, UNAIDS is well on its way to developing a classification for community-led work, and we look forward to seeing the results of these meetings, as well as how UNAIDS can support Member States to resource community-led efforts regionally and locally.
We also are cautious about the challenges faced by middle-income countries and the country transition plans. Country transition plans must take into account the political landscape on the ground. In places where conservatism is on the rise, key populations and women and girls rely more and more on civil society networks and organizations to find support and access to key services. And in these contexts, civil society is actively being defunded and restricted. We have an intimate understanding of where the shortfalls are in the field: we have to survive in them. Advocacy and human-rights efforts must be upheld in order for key populations and women and girls to thrive. In the 68 countries that criminalize homosexuality, for instance, where do you imagine I would go to get my HIV care that would be safe and free of stigma and discrimination?
Tags: 44th PCB Meeting, UBRAF