Delivered by Iwatutu Joyce Adewole, Africa NGO Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation.
I am a young woman from Africa, the epi-centre of the global HIV epidemic. I sit here watching member states debate the adoption of meeting reports and technicalities and improvements of the UBRAF, and wonder whether they will fulfil their promise to scale up the HIV response and meet the targets. Meanwhile, in Africa, members of all our communities continue to die of AIDS-related illness.
The world has lost 32.7 million people and seen 75.7 million become HIV positive; many because we are unable to create a sufficiently enabling environment, or access HIV prevention and treatment services, or because of unresponsive programmes, or punitive laws and policies. The cost of continuing to underfund UNAIDS going forward is that we will not prevent the 3.6 million new HIV infections and 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths we have committed to by 2030.
I want us all today to remember that the NGO Delegation is more than just 10 people. We are the communities of key populations living with and affected by HIV worldwide. Our engagement in the HIV response is non-negotiable -- we are at the forefront of innovative, practical, far-reaching, and cost-effective programmes and we want a fully-funded UBRAF that enables and fully supports community-led responses. The red ribbon of the response and of UNAIDS is a symbol of our promise to serve those communities and to end AIDS.
My message to you from girls and young women in Africa is simple. Approve, and fully fund this UBRAF. The time to act and invest is now.
I thank you.
Tags: Special Session on UBRAF