We welcome the Secretariat’s report on the 2011 United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS and we want to particularly acknowledge the specific inclusion of key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs, who were named in the conclusions of the 2011 Political Declaration. However, we want remind the Board that transgender people were notably missing in the Declaration and that no one can be left behind if we are to achieve the zeros in 2015.
While we welcome the report’s call for driving forward innovation to realize the promises of new tools for HIV prevention, including treatment as prevention, microbicides, and low-cost generics, we think that it is important the Secretariat continues to advocate for continued investment for the research and development of new prevention options including an HIV vaccine, female condoms, and more.
The Investment Framework is mentioned on several occasions throughout the document. And while we support the principles that are at the foundation of the framework (i.e., targeting resources to key populations, supporting evidence-based interventions, and keeping a focus on critical enablers including the social determinants of HIV), we would like to point out that the framework requires refinement, specifically, as related to the assumptions made regarding funding levels to key populations built into the model.
We are aware that the accomplishment of the targets agreed to in the 2011 Political Declaration will require a strong and well-oriented monitoring, evaluation and follow up processes. As we implement the declaration’s commitments, we would like to emphasize the need for qualitative indicators in the national and global reports. It is important that we continue to learn from experiences; we want to encourage UNAIDS to advocate for and to replicate the regional universal access consultations that happened ahead of the High Level Meeting, to have them led by UNAIDS and to take place in 2014 in order to help galvanize a political momentum for the 2016 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) review as a means to inform a post-MDG development framework.
Additionally, we are particularly concerned that the report de-emphasizes the role of developed countries instead of urging them to fully meet their commitments including providing funds for development, international aid and HIV and AIDS. Instead, the report places a particular emphasis on developing and emerging economies to bring more funds to the AIDS response. We believe this combined approach cannot overlook past commitments, notably as enshrined in prior political declarations in 2001 and 2006.
We welcome the announcement of the UNAIDS Guidance Document: Getting to Zero through partnerships with civil society, key affected populations and people living with HIV in the 2012 document and we are keen to see more details of how it will be operationalized.
While we welcome the announcement that UNAIDS will be convening civil society and religious leaders to strengthen the “cultural, ethical and religious values and the vital role of the family” etc., we would like to remind the Secretariat and Member States that the declarations recognize that various forms of the family exist and to take this into account when organizing this meeting. We think it is especially important that women’s groups, including women living with HIV, are included in this meeting and that the meeting addresses gender inequality and sexual violence that affect family structures. With this we are grateful for the leadership of the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) who, among other initiatives in 2011, has convened the Young Women’s Leadership Initiative as a follow-up to the High Level Meeting to ensure the voices and specific concerns of young women living with HIV inform the planning and implementation of the commitments on women and girls at the country-level.