41st PCB Meeting
Agenda 4 Report on progress in the implementation of the UNAIDS Joint Programme Action Plan
To be delivered by Sonal Mehta, Asia Pacific NGO Delegation
Thank you Mr. Chair and thank you to Michel and his team for extensive work that has happened since last year: the budget cuts, quick decision making in the process of distributing resources, negotiations with stakeholders and cosponsors, development of country envelopes, Global Review Panel, and innovative resource mobilization.
The NGO delegation acknowledges and appreciates the entire UNAIDS Joint Programme with all the co-sponsors and secretariat to work together and rebuild the resilience and credibility of the Programme. It is important to produce actions and results quickly and timely, but that is not enough. We would have liked to see more systematic and formal engagement and involvement of civil society and communities groups in planning of the country envelopes. We feel that while many activities will be implemented with communities and civil society, the real partnership comes when we plan together.
The NGO Delegation appreciates the joint resource mobilisation plan, to which we are happy to be associated with as a working group member during the development process. But we would now like concrete targets for the short, medium and long term for the resource mobilisation team that they aspire to.
We appeal to the Member States to fully fund the Joint Programme by either keeping their level of funding steady, or increasing if you can. We also appeal to newer countries including my own Indi who have just started contributions to mechanisms such as Global Fund to also keep a small percentage for UNAIDS, every penny counts. Along with investing in service delivery, it is obvious to invest in target setting and response monitoring. In order to protect your investment in mechanisms such as the Global Fund, it is important to fully fund the Joint Programme. Advocacy of the Joint Programme, in partnership with civil society, not only will lead to scale up but also ensure sustainability of activities and services initiated.
To the Secretariat, we would say that if we are serious about resource mobilisation, appropriately resourcing the resource mobilisation team is extremely necessary, we don’t think it is well resourced as of now, if you think it is well resourced, we think you are not ambitious enough. We are also keen to ear the messaging around resource mobilization. And we want to make sure new money is raised.
Civil society is an extremely useful resource not only for advocacy and service delivery to the unreached, but also as effective fund raising – the Global Fund is a good demonstration for that. We would be happy to partner with the UNAIDS to raise funds, or continue our engagement on the advisory group capacity.
Finally, we ask the innovative resource mobilisation team to clarify the advocacy funding and how would it link to civil society. It is not enough to raise funds for Secretariat, if it is not going to link to advocacy. We strongly suggest to establish an advocacy fund as a part of innovative fund raising mechanisms which can be used by civil society to effectively negotiate domestic funding with governments and stakeholders. In times when there are shrinking spaces for civil society, this fund will ensure vibrancy in the HIV response. Without this fund and this partnership, it will be business as usual, which is not enough. The UNAIDS we need must be bold and courageous to take risks in finding new money and not just engage in redistributing already committed funds.