Agenda 1.3: Report of the Executive Director
By Trevor Stratton
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The NGO Delegation welcomes the report of the Executive Director.
We remain deeply concerned with the financial challenges that the Joint Programme has been experiencing, which have negatively affected the regional presence of UNAIDS. These country and regional withdrawals have serious implications for advocacy, policy change and for the effective removal of human rights barriers, just to name a few.
A comprehensive HIV response requires multi-stakeholder engagement and UNAIDS is uniquely positioned in this way, bringing together civil society, the relevant co-sponsoring UN agencies with an HIV mandate, and the Secretariat and tackling the epidemic from various angles. Removing or decreasing the resources for one or more areas of work is detrimental; like trying to complete a puzzle where some pieces are missing, where you can’t ever achieve the end goal of looking at the big picture, in this case to end AIDS. We must guarantee the adequate functioning of the Secretariat and the Co-sponsors and fulfilment of their HIV mandates to be able to meet our global goals.
The UNAIDS Joint Programme in the EECA region and other regions are frequently the first donors that have provided seed money for the development for new networks.
- One example is the Eurasian Women’s Network in Istanbul that received funding from UNDP, UN-Women and the UNAIDS regional office even before official registration. Another example is from Asia-Pacific where the UNAIDS Regional Support Team negotiated with Australia for core funding of regional community networks.
- UNDP was the first donor to the National Coalition of People Living with HIV in India (NCPI+), that rebuilt what was then a scattered PLHIV movement.
- UNAIDS has supported the mobilization of communities in Asia Pacific. As an example, the UNAIDS Secretariat collaboratively with UNFPA, UNESCO, and UNICEF, through the UBRAF, supported Youth LEAD’s formation and existence in its early years, and has now been recognized as a good programme among young key populations at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne in 2014. They also manage the Technical Support Facility (TSF), which has facilitated numerous technical supports for civil society in relation to the Global Fund regional and country grant proposal writing, implementation, and evaluation processes. TSF enabled regional networks of civil society to hold regional consultations and in country dialogues, funded consultants to write Global Fund proposals, and also undertook various technical supports for civil society, including organizational development.
While there have been numerous comments around possible subcontracting of UNAIDS by the Global Fund or receiving money for specific activities by the Global Fund, as the NGO Delegation we remain firmly against such propositions that would affect the governance dynamics of UNAIDS, its accountability mechanism, and who it ultimately reports to. What we do agree, is that we need to further strengthen the collaboration between both institutions. The role of UNAIDS is unique and should be maintained this way.
Lastly we celebrate the initiative to establish the multi-stakeholder review panel to look at the UNAIDS business model and we would just like to emphasize the importance that civil society, particularly affected communities be members of this panel.