31st UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Meeting
NGO Delegates for Asia and the Pacific
5. Review of NGO/Civil Society participation in the PCB (pdf)
The NGO Delegation welcomes the Independent review of NGO/Civil Society Participation in the PCB and wish to express our appreciation to everyone who contributed to the review process especially the independent consultant who compiled the report.
We are pleased to note the report highlights that civil society participation continues to be universally welcomed and generally seen as an important principle and valued asset of the PCB. We are particularly pleased the report acknowledges the Communications Facility as an integral component adding measurable value to the effectiveness of the NGO Delegation.
We are encouraged to hear that the NGO Delegation is seen as making an increasingly important contribution to the overall strategic, administrative and accountability frameworks of the UNAIDS and are seen to have played an important role in keeping priority items related to civil society on the PCB agenda.
Based on the report finding we would like to reaffirm the important role of the NGO Delegation in bringing up the issues that are important for our communities and especially our constituents. This can be a sensitive and delicate balancing process.
We take pride of the diverse communities represented by the NGO Delegation and for promoting a human rights based approach as the root of policy design and interventions. These are requirements expected of us by our constituents and outlined in the Delegation’s terms of reference as well as many other UNAIDS documents. Although this can be a very delicate and complex process which requires considerable strategizing and deliberation on our behalf as we are often seen as being too provocative by some PCB delegates yet too yielding by our constituents to which we are ultimately accountable.
The Delegation acknowledges it needs to continue to develop its outreach and accountability to wider regional civil society and key constituencies. We will also focus on building stronger relations and increasing communication with Cosponsors and Member States, particularly in-between PCB meetings. Having the Communication Facility working in its full capacity is essential for us to achieve these goals.
It has repeatedly been mentioned that the NGO Delegation engage in fundraising to address its financial needs. We would like to point out that the NGO delegates have independently mobilized additional funding support which largely remains unacknowledged publicly and therefore isn’t immediately obvious to outside observers. These include ensuring the participation of civil society observers at PCB meetings and funding support extended to new and incoming NGO delegates for the purposes of their orientation and training. These efforts will continue, despite the heavy workload carried by each of the NGO delegates, which is conducted entirely on a voluntary basis.
The NGO Delegation supports the decision points recommended in the report. We recognize that some countries have been proactive in engaging NGO representation on their country delegations and wish to acknowledge them for that and encourage others to do the same.
As recommended in the report, the Delegation endorses the need to finalize and incorporate an indicator for civil society involvement in the UNAIDS UBRAF to serve as a measurable standard for civil society engagement and a tool by which to hold UNAIDS and all Cosponsors to account.
We also reiterate the need for specific objectives, measurable indicators and an implementation plan going forward for the Guidance for Partnerships with Civil Society, including people living with HIV and Key Populations.
We wish once again to express our appreciation to all who participated in the preparation of the NGO/Civil Society Review which we believe will be beneficial in strengthening the work we do as we go forward. Thank you.