Prepared by the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO)
FOUR THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
(Information based on the UN General Assembly Resolution A/Res/65/180)
In December 2010 the United Nations General Assembly approved a Resolution (A/Res/65/180) that sets out the process for the 2011 comprehensive review of the progress in implementing the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.
Please take into consideration the following decisions contained in the Resolution when planning your advocacy actions:
- High level meeting to take place June 8-10, 2011 and to have plenary sessions and panel discussions
- Civil society encouraged to participate (through an accreditation process or in government delegations)
- Civil society hearing to take place in April 2011
- Member states will negotiate an outcome document to be approved at the meeting
1) THE HIGH LEVEL MEETING
- The high-level meeting will take place 8 to 10 June 2011, in New York, and will undertake a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realizing the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.
- The high-level meeting will comprise plenary meetings and up to five thematic panel discussions.1 The opening plenary meeting will feature statements by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General, the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, a person openly living with HIV and an eminent person actively engaged in the response to HIV/AIDS.2
2) CIVIL SOCIETY INVOLVEMENT
- Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and non-governmental members of the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint Programme are invited to participate in the high-level meeting, as appropriate.
- Representatives of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, civil society organizations and the private sector, one from each grouping, selected during the informal interactive hearing, may also be included in the list of speakers for the plenary meetings of the high-level meeting, in consultation with the President of the General Assembly.
- Member States are encouraged to include in their national delegations representatives of civil society, including non‑governmental organizations and organizations and networks representing people living with HIV, women, young persons, orphans, community organizations, faith-based organizations and the private sector.
- The President of the General Assembly, following appropriate consultations with Member States, should draw up, no later than 31 March 2011, a list of other relevant civil society representatives, in particular associations of people living with HIV, non-governmental organizations, including organizations of women and young people, girls and boys and men, faith-based organizations and the private sector, especially pharmaceutical companies and representatives of labour, including on the basis of the recommendations of the Joint Programme and taking into account the principle of equitable geographical representation, and to submit the list to Member States for consideration on a no-objection basis for a final decision by the Assembly on participation in the high-level meeting, including panel discussions.
3) CIVIL SOCIETY HEARING
- The President of the General Assembly will organize, no later than in April 2011, an informal interactive civil society hearing with the active participation of people living with HIV and broader civil society, and attended by representatives of Member States, the Observer State and observers, non‑governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, invited civil society organizations and the private sector, as part of the preparatory process for the high-level meeting. The President of the General Assembly will preside over the informal interactive hearing and will prepare a summary of the hearing, issued as a document of the Assembly prior to the high-level meeting.
4) OUTCOME DOCUMENT
- The President of the General Assembly will hold timely, open, transparent and inclusive consultations with all Member States, with a view to adopting a concise and action-oriented declaration, as an outcome of the high-level meeting to be agreed by Member States, that reaffirms and builds on the Declaration of Commitment and the Political Declaration to guide and monitor the HIV/AIDS response beyond 2010, giving due consideration to the report of the Secretary-General and other inputs to the preparatory process for the high-level meeting.
KEY ADVOCACY ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE NOW TO ENSURE INVOLVEMENT OF THE COMMUNITY SECTOR IN THE HIGH LEVEL MEETING
- URGENT Action: Between now and the high level meeting, UN Missions in New York will negotiate an outcome document to be presented and approved at the meeting in June. It is important that you immediately contact the National AIDS Program and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country to establish (or strengthen) a relationship that will allow you, and your community sector colleagues, to influence the input that the Mission in New York gives during the negotiation process over the next 4 months.
- Advocate for your government to send the highest level of official representation and that the delegation includes representatives of civil society, particularly from organizations of people living with HIV. You can contact other community organizations in your country to develop a common strategy for this advocacy effort, including identifying individuals who would best represent issues relevant for the community sector. The Resolution dealing with the organization of the 2011 high-level meeting on AIDS: Encourages Member States to include in their national delegations to the high-level meeting parliamentarians, representatives of civil society, including non‑governmental organizations and organizations and networks representing people living with HIV, women, young persons, orphans, community organizations, faith-based organizations and the private sector (Paragraph 3).
- Influence your government’s participation at the high-level meeting by influencing their statements prior to the meeting. It is vital that the unique perspectives and experience of the community sector are included in these preparations and deliberations.
- Participate as an ‘accredited’ NGO that will be allowed to attend the Plenary sessions of the HLM (though seating availability is limited) as well as other related events (panel discussion, civil society hearing, etc.). ‘Accredited’ NGOs are NGOs that:
- already have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC status) and that request to be accredited to the meeting;
- NGO representatives that are delegates to the Programme Coordination Board of UNAIDS (PCB); and
- Other NGOs that apply for accreditation through the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Services (NGLS) and will be accorded special authorization to attend the review meeting. (please check www.icaso.org for information about accreditation that will be posted once it becomes available).
- Contact accredited NGOs directly (once the list of accredited organizations is made public by the OPGA, it will be available by emailing [email protected], and it will be also posted in the ICASO’s website www.icaso.org and will be widely distributed through different listserves).
 Chairs of the panel discussions will present summaries of the discussions to the closing plenary meeting.
 The President of the General Assembly, with support from UNAIDS and in consultation with Member States, will identify a person openly living with HIV and an eminent person actively engaged in the response to HIV/AIDS to speak at the opening plenary meeting. They will also collaborate in the identification of themes and finalization of the panel discussions, and with the Civil Society Task Force on arrangements for the informal interactive hearing with civil society.