NGO Delegate Alessandra Nilo, Latin America and the Caribbean
“The NGO Delegation welcomes the paper tabled at this PCB, which notes that there were improvements in the UNAIDS work related to the Post 2015 Agenda. We are happy to see that this paper stresses the link between HIV and development, and reaffirms that the epidemic is far from over. It explicitly mentions that it is increasing among key populations and that the costs of treatment and the punitive laws that criminalize same-sex relations and HIV transmission are among the great barriers we face nowadays. We remain concerned, however that at the Open Working Group, HIV has not received the necessary attention and that some of our AIDS- related issues – sexual rights, sexuality education, gender identity – were not included in the outcome documents. The increasing presence of conservative forces at the UN indicates that people who have been historically left behind will remain left behind because despite all commitments affirming their interlinkages, there is still a dangerous disconnection between development and human rights. This is unacceptable and this will have strong and negative impact on HIV responses at all levels. In terms of “language’, instead of only having a target about “ending aids”, we also want to see specific reference to “universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support”. This way, we go beyond the usual appeal for the sense of urgency and articulate a more sophisticated and critical analyses, with clear propositions on how to move forward, by pushing for policies and programs that are universal, comprehensive, non-discriminatory, of high quality, and free of charge. The task ahead is not an easy one. We still lack the necessary political will to implement the needed legal reforms, as we see many governments hostaged by an economic system so deeply unbalanced, that eradication of the concentration of wealth becomes more complex than the eradication of poverty and HIV all together. The UNAIDS paper also reminds us that the funds for HIV are not increasing and that the SDGs need to commit resources to establish long lasting solutions. Common but differentiated responsibilities are essential when considering the means of implementation. Official development assistance is a key element and should remain a priorityas funds for AIDS cannot come solely from national budgets. The data shows that domestic resources, especially in countries facing extreme and high poverty rates, are not sufficient to finance health and AIDS-related social determinants. That’s why CS is calling for a progressive tax system worldwide and for global financial transactions taxes as both a regulatory measure, as well as a systemic revenue generator, to be applied for sustainable development, including HIV. And this idea really makes sense, especially when considering that the global financial system is worth seventy-two times more than the global GDP and that one single financial transaction tax of only 0.05% on the global Derivatives market alone could raise about 68 billion US dollars per year. Well it looks like we know where the money is. In terms of strategy we also would like to see UNAIDS engaging more actively in the debate about “Partnership”. MDG 8 called for Global Partnerships driven by governments. However, we have seen the power of corporations going beyond the institutional notion of “government-ruling state”, eroding the already built public services infrastructure. For HIV it is key, because a high number of partnerships for the development of essential drugs are not transparent, has no social participation, and are really undermining the sustainability of health systems. It is happening right now, for instance, in my own country, Brazil. The other important issue is that the current partnership model has reduced civil society to subcontractors and implementing partners, removing the space for policy discussions on alternative approaches. As a result, critical advocacy, human rights and civic engagement-related programs are receiving less and less attention and resources. We recommend that the new global development framework include a target that promotes partnerships between the UN, governments and civil society at all levels. Additionally, indicators must be included to measure the existence of an enabling legal environment for civil society work and accounts for the implementation of resources especially for advocacy work – Therefore we see Community Systems Strengthening as a key area for UNAIDS to push in the post 2015 framework. In this regard, if the AIDS response is unique exactly because of the meaningful engagement of people living with HIV, as well as AIDS advocates. Therefore it time for some member states to stop treating gay, transgender, lesbians, intersex, people who use drugs and sex workers, women and girls, among others, as their enemies and start treating them as a citizens of their countries.. We know that that there will be no sustainability in any post 2015 development model if the human rights of all people are not respected. Finally, we would like to finish by saying how happy we are with the approval of the 2016 High Level Meeting. As you know, it was an idea born at this PCB and civil society played an important role in pushing this agenda. We thank the member states who made this idea a reality. We are looking forward to collaborating and participating in the planning of the meeting, which we believe will immensely contribute to leaving none of our constituencies behind.