40th PCB Meeting
Agenda 3. Refined operating model of the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
To be delivered by Vitalii Tkachuck, NGO Europe
Thank you, Chair.
The NGO Delegation joins those that have expressed that we need UNAIDS. However, the question remains: What is theUNAIDS we need?
The Delegation launched an online campaign #TheUNAIDSWeNeed and received several messages from all over the world, communities and civil society expressing their views on theUNAIDS we need.
In Ukraine we are very lucky and are one of the rare examples – to have the UNAIDS we need. Fast track cities programme works and works well – it is able to catch attention of authorities and donors and it is really a game changing framework for those cities. But – how we will be sure that we will be able to sustain it? In times of financial and management and leadership crisis? How we will make sure that ambitious plans will be implemented at the ground level.
Let me give you the example – three years ago here at the PCB my colleague from all Ukrainian network was presenting during the emergency thematic – he was talking about UN agencies and humanitarian organizations that work in fragile territories and with displaced people – but didn’t cover HIV issues. In connection with the military conflict, the level of food security had decreased for almost all residents of the region. But PLHIV had been most affected by stigma and discrimination in relation to illness and unequal access to resources. Medical and social workers had faced cases of interruption of ART due to the lack of money of patients even for food – And after this PCB a miracle happened – now we AllUkrainian Network together with WFP are implementing the joint project providing food for PLHIV with accent on adherence. We are solving that problem – doing it together – Jointly – we have heard each other and start to act together – Jointly. That is what we need – that is the Joint Program in our understanding.
But what we see looking at the budgets and models and reports – we can clearly see that we are losing the UNAIDS we need. We are losing the Joint Program – that what the budget graphics tell us. Fast track? We are losing this vision and leadership of Fast Track. We have already lost it all around the EECA region – Ukraine is one of best examples that is, by the number of reasons, still alive. But the whole picture is very sad – distrust from side of civil society and communities – as declared goals don’t match the resources and the reality. Distrust as the processes are very intransparent, from our point of view. – What was the rationale for cuts done due to financial crisis in my region, how the priorities were chosen – no one have discussed it with us, with communities, with people affected by these cuts on the ground. We received no information before it was done – usually we just found out after-fact that this or that agency, this or that country office had stopped its work. In my region one of main barriers is high cost of ARVs due to IP barriers – what is the rational of cuts for UNDP and IP positions inside UNAIDS Secretariat? What is the rational for cuts of UNODC in region where driving force of epidemic is discrimination and criminalization of people who use drugs
We don’t see in these reports and models clear answers. How we are going to sustain all that work in the future? We do not support the idea of sharing with Global Fund, mainly because GF is transitioning now from EECA region and we see how much we need money to work out this transition in proper way – and we don’t have them enough in GF – nothing to share. And secondly – because it is strange idea from point of independence and government of both – GF and UNAIDs – we have no understanding how it will work and big doubts it actually can.
The UNAIDS we need – need its own long term fundraising strategy and clear plan of its implementation – to improve situation we face now. UNAIDS we need needs to recognize the current reality – recognize that we can only do less. And start to work on clear plan of what can be really done with that “less”. What exact less – the priorities have to be chosen – though it is painful.
UNAIDS we need needs clear operational plans and articulate understanding of its role and functions and results on country, regional and global level. And this cuts process and prioritization process have to be transparent – if we want to bring trust towards UNAIDS back.