40th PCB Meeting
Agenda 3. Refined Operating Model
Alessandra Nilo, LAC
We all spent the past days talking about the Joint Program Action Plan. As a member of the Global Review Panel, when thinking about the debates we had, I agree that there are still areas for improvement in the Action Plan, but for us it is a concrete step forward to the Joint Programme.
Now is time for us to focus on the “HOW” and I would like to call our attention to the financial area we need to improve.
While we all know that the discourse about the lack of funds to invest in AIDS is a false one, because in fact what we lack is the political will from some governments, private institutions and foundations to continue investing in AIDS, or making AIDS a priority in their portfolio, we came to a point in our conversation where words like “gaps”, “unpredictability”, and “insecurity” are dominating the narrative.
We are deeply concern about it and, at this critical stage, this Board can not allow that important stakeholders, communities, and the people who suffer the impact of the AIDS epidemic the most, loose their confidence in the capacity of UNAIDS to deliver. We face a very serious crisis, which demands care and attention. It may be time to strengthen the trust between the Secretariat, the co-sponsors, member states and communities, or it may be the time to undermine completely some of the most sensitive relationships. We can’t allow this to happen.
So, my delegation insist on saying that what is lacking is capacity – and courage– to implement responses to health that challenges economic interests. Intellectual property for life-saving medicines, for instance, continue to be a sensitive issue in this room. Debates around financial transactions taxes, control of illicit financial flows, or the incapacity of many countries to expand public health investments due to paying back loans to the IMF and the World Bank, are themes for another forums, not for the PCB. To continue acting as if there was not enough money in the world to respond to the AIDS epidemic, the health demands, the refugees and all other “crises” together is a mistake. A big mistake.
And we need to bring this broader perspective to our “financial crises” scenario.
Because we urgently need to define a new UNAIDS approach on resource mobilization. The Action Plan needs to show how the UNAIDS Joint Program will raise the necessary funds to achieve the 2020 and the 2030 goals. How it will cover the gaps, and how UNAIDS will move from this unpredictability and insecurity that the dependence on the member states donations only imposes.
Let’s remember that, some years ago our challenge was to raise the additional funds to AIDS. Now the urgency is how to return to the level of funds we had in the past.
In such a context, yes, we need to have a well-informed discussion about what “prioritization” will mean for communities, for key populations, for the human rights agendas, for fast-track countries and for non-fast track countries alike, including for the middle income countries who respond to 58% of People living with HIV. And, in order to do that, it is imperative that you hear the communities.
We ask for a clear compromise here: that you will consult us previously before defining what the priorities will be. Civil society, people living with, vulnerable to and affected by HIV must be part of the process. #The UNAIDS we need leaves no one behind. Remember that.
In a nut shell: besides working to stabilize this crisis, we need to be forward looking by designing and implementing a new fundraising strategy that includes innovative mechanisms and models combining public and private resources, as a means to achieve a fully funded UBRAF and a sustainable UNAIDS in the years to come. And civil society must be part of this process.