Zuzanna Muskat-Gorska, Global Trade Union HIV/AIDS Coordinator for the International Trade Union Confederation and civil society observer at the 28th UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board meeting, offered the following intervention in response to the Report from the Executive Director:
On behalf of Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, I would like to express our support for the political momentum created by the HLM and the successful adoption of the new Political Declaration.
Through its affiliates the ITUC is representing 175 million workers in 151 countries and territories worldwide.
During the HLM process we were proud to take part in the UNGA Civil Society Task Force and in the International Advisory Group. I would like to take this opportunity to express our full recognition of the IAG consensus statement and the work beyond, as outlined by the co-chair of the IAG, H.E. Ms. Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Social Development of South Africa.
At the High Level Meeting the trade union delegation brought together the leadership from countries from all over the world – representatives of national trade union centres from Senegal, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, South Africa and Sweden, with trade unions from Senegal and Sweden being included in their country delegations.
We wish to particularly welcome the inclusion of the Paragraph 85 into the new Political Delegation:
“Commit to mitigate the impact of the epidemic on workers, their families, their dependents, workplaces and economies, including by taking into account all relevant ILO conventions, as well as the guidance provided by the relevant ILO recommendations, including ILO Recommendation No 200, and call on employers, trade and labour unions, employees and volunteers to eliminate stigma and discrimination, protect human rights and facilitate access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support”
– the paragraph that calls for the leadership of the world of work and that refers directly to the powerful system of the international human rights standards – that is, the Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organization, one of the co-sponsors of the UNAIDS. Specifically, we wish to welcome the reference to the ILO Recommendation no 200 on HIV and AIDS and the world of work that has been adopted last year.
Undoubtedly, the High Level Meeting created the momentum for renewing the global HIV response. The question is how we are going to do it.
As trade unions and a constituency of one of the UNAIDS co-sponsors we see the need for a meaningful implementation of the UNAIDS Strategy 2011-2015 and beyond, the ILO HIV and AIDS Recommendation no 200, the new UNGA Political Declaration – also through the action in the workplace, both in laws and in practice, through peer education, through creating environments of trust, through always protecting human rights.
We wish to support the call for more work in the horizontal settings for action – where the majority of population, including key populations, meet and can be reached – the community, the workplace.
Lastly, we would like to call for utilising the consensus – the ILO HIV and AIDS Recommendation was adopted by an overwhelming majority of Governments. The new Political Declaration has finally brought all on the same page. Let us not miss the opportunity to build meaningful political capital for the HIV action on grounds on these agreements and let us not lose the political momentum at the national level.