The NGO Delegation to the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS takes this opportunity to commend the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the release of the report “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development”.
Alongside broader civil society, delegation members have actively participated in the numerous global, regional and national consultations aiming to ensure the report and the Post 2015 Development Agenda reflects the priorities of communities.
We welcome the Panel’s clear recognition that addressing inequity in all its forms and the realization of human rights regardless of “ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status” is critical if we are to build on the progress made in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.
The importance of this recognition cannot be overstated. In the context of HIV and AIDS, it is universally acknowledged that structural barriers such as legislative policy and frameworks which discriminate, marginalize and criminalize communities remain a major obstacle in the fight against the pandemic. Gender inequity, poverty, inequitable access to education, safe and secure housing and food security all act as drivers of the epidemic. At the same time of course, HIV and AIDS work to exacerbate and entrench poverty and social inequities.
We also welcome the proposal of a specific goal and targets focused on addressing gender inequalities –‐ “Empower Girls and Women and Achieve Gender Equality”. Addressing gender norms, gender based violence, and the relative status of women and girls is crucial in effective responses to HIV and AIDS and need to be the site of renewed and increased focus.
Whilst acknowledging the work of the High Level Panel the NGO Delegation believes that there are areas where the Report needs to be strengthened.
The progress made towards addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic since 2000 is unprecedented. The inclusion within the MDGs of a high level goal and specific targets with respect to HIV and AIDS has been critical to this.
As a direct result of sustained focus guided by the MDGs, we are only now realizing the potential of new technologies and approaches, which see us close to fundamentally and permanently reversing the impacts of HIV and AIDS on health and development.
Deprioritizing HIV and AIDS in this context presents the real risk that the ‘status quo’ becomes acceptable, or even worse that hard won gains will be lost. The connections between HIV and violence, inequality, sexual reproductive health and rights, access to education, criminalization, and human rights are complex. The report would have been much strengthened had it presented substantive analysis of, andd reflected on these inter–‐relationships beyond the ‘health related goal’ and within each of the proposed goals.
The Delegation would like to thank the United Nations Secretary General for your continuing leadership in the development of a strong and ambitious Post 2015 agenda. We hope that our concerns will be considered as the process moves forward.
As civil society representatives to the PCB, the delegation remains determined that UNAIDS itself demonstrates similar leadership – guiding and supporting Countries and Civil Society to effectively engage with the development of a Post 2015 agenda to ensure it adequately reflects HIV and AIDS as a priority issue.
As you are aware, The 32ndMeeting of the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS is planned for 25 – 27 June 2013. HIV and AIDS in the Post 2015 Agenda is scheduled for discussion at that meeting. The Delegation will use this opportunity to raise concerns and make a call for collective action to prevent the potential deprioritization of HIV and AIDS.
On behalf of
The NGO Delegation to the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS