46th PCB - Intervention by Andrew Spieldenner - Agenda 9: Organizational Oversight Reports: Report of the External Auditor


Delivered by Andrew Spieldenner, North America, on behalf of the PCB NGO Delegation


I am delivering this on behalf of the entire NGO Delegation. Our written intervention has already been submitted. Based on the interventions made in this PCB Meeting thus far, we would like to expand on one issue.

We applaud UNAIDS for its successful external audit as one way of demonstrating accountability to the Program Coordinating Board and other constituents. We want to address External Audit item 52 more explicitly.

In our current moment, there has been an increase in criminalising key populations, as well as a reduction in resources aimed at supporting people living with HIV, gay men and men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who use drugs, sex workers, migrants and adolescent girls and young women to have meaningful involvement in the HIV responses.

The reporting from UBRAF is inconsistent and relies on self-reporting from various sources. As the NGO Delegation, we see and experience challenges on the ground - including shifting policies in treatment distribution, overlapping and sometimes conflicting government and multinational organisations claiming to respond to the needs of people living with HIV and other marginalised groups, and the legal challenges to many key populations globally.

In 2018, my country passed vast and sweeping laws in order, ostensibly, to stop sex trafficking. These laws made all sex workers more vulnerable to criminal prosecution and law enforcement, driving people engaged in sex work farther from healthcare and other HIV services. In the last two weeks, the federal government has removed a law that explicitly outlines protections for people of trans experience in healthcare settings. We are currently in massive social protests to recognize that Black Lives Matter and addressing disparities in the criminal justice system. These are critical challenges in human-rights and people centered HIV responses.

We encourage UNAIDS to look at including measurable outcomes about structures for every reporting country: gender parity in education, laws that criminalize key populations, laws that explicitly protect key populations, and resourcing the Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS and other key populations. The ways that our voices are encouraged - or silenced - must be - at the bare minimum - acknowledged. As the writer James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

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