1.3 Report of the Executive Director
Intervention from the NGO Delegate for Africa (pdf)
We welcome the overall themes of the Outcome Document and the efforts of all the different stakeholders, particularly the country missions, who worked long into the night to achieve a compromise. As with any compromise document, we recognize that no-one gets everything that they want and like others; civil society is concerned at some of the limitations and caveats in the final draft. However, we were particularly pleased to see:
- The naming of key populations – men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who inject drugs
- The naming of vulnerable populations such as migrants and prisoners
- The acknowledgement of human rights as a central component of the global HIV response
- The recognition of the need to challenge stigma & discrimination in order to combat HIV
- The setting of a clear target of 15 million on ARV treatment by 2015
- The explicit endorsement of harm reduction
We would like to commend those countries that actively engaged civil society in developing their positions and particularly those countries who invited civil society partners to be on their delegations. As the Chair has said, Latin America as a region was particularly active and effective in engaging civil society partners at all levels. As we enter our discussions this week, we wish to draw lessons about the operating principles and funding environment that is required to meaningfully involve civil society and in particular representative networks of people living with HIV and key populations.
We welcome the formation of the International Advisory Group on universal access in line with the decision of the last PCB. The people involved in this group and the statement that they produced were both of high quality. Sadly, the group was convened far too close to the High Level Meeting (HLM) reducing the impact of the group and its report. So we believe that lessons need to be leant about how this group can be best used in the future. However, we also believe that this group is a valuable resource that should be used to further monitor and encourage progress towards universal access.
The range of sub-regional and regional consultations provided important opportunities to extend the engagement of civil society in planning for the HLM and many of our networks were actively involved in this work. While welcoming this approach, it is important to learn lessons about the future use of such events as some consultations occurred too late to have had the desired impact.
At this point, we believe that the focus should be on delivery and accountability. We need to translate the hard fought over words into action. We agree with the UNAIDS Executive Director that we are at a key milestone in the HIV epidemic and we all need to step up to the challenge. Now is a time for clear leadership and countries need to understand the nature of their local epidemics. This should inform planning, investment and partnership working. The challenge for the UNAIDS family is how to ensure a robust and dynamic accountability environment, underpinned by annual reporting. We would welcome comments from the Executive Director on the role of a further HLM in the holding all stakeholders to account during this critical period.
We understand that there will be regular reporting from countries but the international venue will report only with the MDGs as a whole. We are concerned that this loses a focus on the detail of the commitments from the high level declarations and want to ensure that we will have a mechanism for global accountability for reporting specifically on AIDS commitments.