NGO Delegate John Rock, Asia and the Pacific
Thematic Segment: Addressing Social and Economic Drivers of HIV through Social Protection
“The NGO Delegation believes that in order to end AIDS and ensure nobody is left behind it is important to:
- Ensure action on social drivers is placed at the center of the global AIDS response. This commitment must be reflected in the development of strategies, the enactment of policies and laws, in evaluating progress, and when resources are being allocated.
- Open the Joint Programme to rigorous experimentation and innovation, conducted in country-based contexts, to identify those interventions that effectively and efficiently maximize resilience among women and girls and other key populations (as defined by UNAIDS as well as other populations that frequently face disproportionate impacts of HIV and local prejudices, whether they are infected with HIV, or at risk of HIV), so they can be replicated and adapted to other contexts.
Finally I wanted to make an observation and a recommendation about the programming of these thematic days. They are about creating awareness, but more than that they are about motivating people to go and do something. About taking action so no-one is left behind. When I think back to the last PCB all I can remember from the thematic, to be honest, is those wonderful four young people who shared their compelling stories with us. I know there were other speakers but I cannot remember them, who they were or what they said.
We all remember Charles’s passionate speech on Tuesday about New York. It is these personal stories that really motivate us to go and do something, not the well crafted and considered more technical papers, however competent they are. It is the lived experience of others that brings the need for action to life. It underscores our connected humanity and grabs our attention.
What we suggest is that thematics should include more people who have lived experienced of the issue we are discussing (trust me we tried for this thematic) so that they more likely will motivate us all to do something. This can then be supported by referenced papers, webinars, video clips, describing best practice from work done by us all, governments, cosponsors and above all civil society, and accessed on line.
There is no point in giving people information on how to address issues unless we motivate them to want to do so first.”