NGO Delegate Laurel Sprague, North America
Unified Budget, Results, and Accountability Framework – Mid-Term Reivew
We applaud the frank discussion of shortcomings in the report, particularly the failures to meet the treatment needs of many gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, youth, and pregnant women. We encourage attention to the effects of human rights violations, and other degrading and discriminatory actions, on access to treatment for key populations and other vulnerable groups.
The recognition of gender equality and freedom from gender-based violence in the report is much appreciated. We encourage the Joint Programme and member states to remember that economic justice is equally critical for ensuring equitable access to the highest attainable standard of health for women.
Finally, the NGO Delegation appreciates the recognition throughout the report of the important work done by civil society in the HIV response. We further appreciate that collaborations between civil society, governments, and UN organizations is highlighted as a model for other development and justice work.
A number of us know from our own experience how critical civil society has been—and especially networks of people living with HIV–in our own access to treatment, treatment literacy, self-advocacy with health care workers, and resilience in the face of discrimination, as well as in struggles to ensure treatment access, legal reform, and evidence- and rights-based policies. It is no secret that civil society is essential for meeting the call to end the epidemic within the deadline of 2030.
Yet, we do not have an accurate cost assessment of the funding needed for civil society to do this work. We have a radical new proposal for UNAIDS. We ask the UNAIDS Secretariat to identify and report in a timely manner the amount of unmet financial need for civil society advocacy, programme, partnership, and support work in the HIV response, including funding needed in connection with the targets to be presented in the 35th PCB.
We cannot scale up the HIV response at the levels needed without civil society playing a central leadership role in community organizing, human rights monitoring, and advocacy. This central role is unique to civil society and includes partnering with communities whose lived experience of exclusion leads to mistrust of public officials which limits their access to life saving treatment, and advocacy in situations where people’s ability to survive and live a good life with dignity is horribly threatened.”