Delivered by Violeta Ross, Latin America and the Caribbean Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
Thank you, Chair.
I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation from one province of Montero in Santa Cruz-Bolivia. I am here documenting a successful experience of social contracting of people living with HIV. This province has the highest rates of HIV, TB and now also of COVID-19.
Despite the hard conditions, the lack of information and support from the National AIDS Program, they managed to secure social contracting of five people living with HIV. This excellent outcome is a result of the alliance between local leaders living with HIV, health staffs who were trained in Japan by JICA and who now became representatives of the municipality.
As I attend this meeting, I can´t stop thinking how UNAIDS and the UBRAF are real for these people and local leaders like the ones in this province. For us, a fully funded UBRAF is essential to achieving the goals of the HIV response. While this new UBRAF has improved significantly, we think the document presented has to improve in the following areas:
We would like to see the indicators formulated sooner, not as late as June 2022.
We need clear mechanisms to be able to track the budget implementation at regional and country levels. Even for us, advocates who are part of a global policy making body like the UNAIDS PCB, this information is not always accessible.
The accountability mechanism has to give clear examples on what happens at regional level and how this becomes real for people with HIV and key populations. This accountability mechanism must also include Co-sponsors, especially with regards to utilization of UBRAF funds and results achieved.
HIV is a good example in governance in health, regarding the UBRAF, we have to maintain the accountability mechanisms at global, regional and country level. This is also a good advocacy tool for sustainable HIV financing. We must strengthen our investments in community-led responses. We urge Member States to work towards a fully-funded UBRAF and that is our main ask.
Tags: Special Session on UBRAF
Delivered by Iwatutu Joyce Adewole, Africa NGO Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation.
I am a young woman from Africa, the epi-centre of the global HIV epidemic. I sit here watching member states debate the adoption of meeting reports and technicalities and improvements of the UBRAF, and wonder whether they will fulfil their promise to scale up the HIV response and meet the targets. Meanwhile, in Africa, members of all our communities continue to die of AIDS-related illness.
The world has lost 32.7 million people and seen 75.7 million become HIV positive; many because we are unable to create a sufficiently enabling environment, or access HIV prevention and treatment services, or because of unresponsive programmes, or punitive laws and policies. The cost of continuing to underfund UNAIDS going forward is that we will not prevent the 3.6 million new HIV infections and 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths we have committed to by 2030.
I want us all today to remember that the NGO Delegation is more than just 10 people. We are the communities of key populations living with and affected by HIV worldwide. Our engagement in the HIV response is non-negotiable -- we are at the forefront of innovative, practical, far-reaching, and cost-effective programmes and we want a fully-funded UBRAF that enables and fully supports community-led responses. The red ribbon of the response and of UNAIDS is a symbol of our promise to serve those communities and to end AIDS.
My message to you from girls and young women in Africa is simple. Approve, and fully fund this UBRAF. The time to act and invest is now.
I thank you.
Delivered by Jules Kim, Asia Pacific Delegate, on behalf of the NGO Delegation
Thank you Chair, I speak on behalf of the NGO Delegation.
Our Delegation believes that a strong UNAIDS remains essential to the achievement of the Global AIDS goals, and as an essential ally in the struggle of our communities to overcome HIV and realize our rights to health and wellness. So many of our communities are still facing the burden of HIV across the regions, with concentrated epidemics among key populations in many regions, including my region, the Asia Pacific, where key populations represent 98% of new infections.
It thus goes without saying that we support a fully funded UBRAF 2022-2026.
That being said, we do not uncritically support it.
The UBRAF before us is vastly improved from previous versions. We believe, however: firstly, accountability must be tightened up significantly. Secondly, more transparency, especially from our perspective on how the scale up of community-led responses will be resourced. Thirdly, we and our constituencies are concerned to know what areas will not receive funding in the event of the UBRAF not being fully funded. It is our concern that critical interventions, especially on human rights, community-led responses and social enablers will be lost if UBRAF is not fully funded.
On the latter, however, we are concerned that this does not become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those most vocal in asking what will happen in the event of an under-funded UBRAF, are those with the power to fully fund the UBRAF. Since 2016, the UBRAF has been under-funded. We have tied one hand behind UNAIDS’s back and then complained that it doesn’t fully meet our aspirations for it, and then used that to wonder whether we can fully fund UNAIDS. This must stop.
Chair, This UBRAF is not perfect. But in global health, the perfect is the enemy of the good. We call on member states here, and globally, to step up and put more money where their mouths are. Be part of the solution to the issues you raise. Fully find this UBRAF.
Here are the documents related to the Special Session on UBRAF (6 October 2021):
Documents of the meeting:
Documents are updated as they are uploaded to the UNAIDS Special Session on UBRAF website. (updated 24 September 2021, 12:30 CEST)
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