Bangkok, March 27-29 2010
On March 27-29, UNAIDS convened a multi-stakeholder meeting bringing together a group of 60 diverse stakeholders ranging from UN agencies, governments, PLHIV, the Global Fund, PEPFAR and civil society. They met for three days to follow up on decisions made at the 25th Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) Meeting in relation to the Second Independent Evaluation(SIE) of UNAIDS and specifically discussed the UNAIDS vision, mission, goals and strategic plan, partnerships and division of labour within the UN. Rathi Ramanathan, Asia Pacific UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegate attended the meeting and submitted a letter to Michel Sidibe before his closing address to the participants urging UNAIDS’ leadership in extending the universal access commitments.
The vision and mission discussion touched upon the importance of selecting the appropriate language for these statements, and the need to consider the possibility of added stigma with certain phrasing, such as the use of an ‘AIDS Free World’ within the vision statement. The vision statement is expected to include a focus on zero new infections, universal access with specific mention of Key populations and the realization of human rights. The mission statement will keep the focus on meeting the MDGs and on having equitable universal access, along with the need for mutual accountability. It was recommended that a multi-stakeholder reference group be set up to work on the wording for the final draft document which will be presented at the 26th PCB Meeting in June 2010. The draft of the strategic plan is expected in May and will be finalized at the 27th PCB Meeting in December 2010.
The PCB at their 25th meeting requested UNAIDS to “work with Cosponsors to develop an overarching partnership strategy with clear and measurable objectives with distinct strategies for working with both civil society and people living with HIV, and for working with global health initiatives such as the Global Fund, PEPFAR and other bilateral and development partners.” The outcomes of the discussions on the partnership strategy included the expansion of partnerships to faith based organizations, traditional leaders, human rights councils, justice organizations, transgender people and key affected youth. The need for a focus on shared ownership with an emphasis on mutual accountability with the meaningful involvement of civil society was also recognized. It is expected that a draft partnerships framework will be developed and shared before it is presented at the June 2010 PCB. It will be endorsed at the PCB Meeting in December 2010.
The meeting closed with a message to all stakeholders from Michél Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, in which he emphasized the urgency for political commitments to universal access and the need to keep universal access central to the UNAIDS agenda. He informed the stakeholders that UNAIDS will make a strong call for the date extension of universal access to 2015.
More on the Second Independent Evaluation of UNAIDS.