NGO Delegate Alessandra Nilo, Latin America and the Caribbean
Thematic Segment: Addressing Social and Economic Drivers of HIV through Social Protection
“The NGO Delegation strongly supports the effort to get action on social drivers placed at the center of the global AIDS response. We welcome the excellent presentations made this morning and hope one result of the report and presentations is to expand the dialogue regarding legal reform, recognizing that legal provisions are essential for securing the human rights of people living with or affected by HIV — but that legal environments are, by themselves, insufficient.
At this point in the AIDS history it is critical to focus on the social and economic system which, in the current model blocks the necessary legal reforms aligned with the aspirational principle of equality, freedom and social justice for all.
The reality check is that today the land, the air, the water and even our own genes have become commercializable and transformed into private properties. Economic policies are not necessarily aligned with public priorities and common goods, undermining the access to services that are supposed to be universal, comprehensive, non-discriminatory, of high quality, and free of charge.
For many of us, this context partly explains the combination of crises we continuously face, including food insecurity, energy and climate change. But, unfortunately, we have only a few leaders courageous enough to call for a change in the nature of the ecomic system.
The fact is that have now almost one billion people in extreme poverty and hunger while 99 percent of the global wealth is owned by only 29 thousand individuals, accordingly to the Credit Suisse. Poverty is not limited by frontiers or “country classifications”. Poverty now is everywhere: in both developing and developed countries. And, let’s remember: poverty is not equitable. And we know that those people who are stigmatized, our HIV key populations, are the ones who are disproportionately economically vulnerable. And we l know who they are: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, women, racial and ethnic minorities and Indigenous Peoples, immigrants, migrant workers, people who have been incarcerated, people who use drugs, and sex workers. Therefore Without specific attention to these groups, we fear they will be left behind once again, even in these efforts that seek to transform economic vulnerability to empowerment.
Inequality at this point in history is insulting. Cash transfer, legal reforms, financial transaction taxes, progressive taxation and other similar initiatives must be part of a really transformative approach that lead us, in the Post 2015 years, to a Era of real Economic Democracy.”