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Get prepared for the 2011 UN AIDS Review

24. January 2011

    In 2011, governments will be reviewing the progress made in the HIV response over the last ten years. Active civil society involvement, including faith-based organizations, is critical to ensure an open and honest review and the setting of new, necessary targets to achieve Universal Access. Action needs to be taken now with national governments and civil society to ensure an effective review process.

    The adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution [1] in December 2010 confirmed that:

    1. A high-level meeting, to be held in New York from 8 to 10 June 2011, will:

    • review progress made towards meeting the promises contained in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS [2] and the 2006 Political Declaration [3], with a view to adopting a new 'concise and action-oriented' declaration to guide and monitor the HIV response beyond 2010; the declaration will be negotiated by UN Member States prior to the high-level meeting.
    • be comprised of plenary meetings and up to five thematic panel discussions; the opening plenary meeting will feature statements by a person openly living with HIV and an eminent person actively engaged in the response to HIV.
    • involve civil society through: 1. the participation of UN-accredited NGOs [4]; 2. the selection of other participating civil society representatives, including as plenary and panel speakers, and; 3. the inclusion of civil society representatives in government delegations.

     

    2. A civil society hearing, to take place in New York in April 2011 (exact dates to be confirmed), will:

    • contribute to the preparatory process for the high-level meeting; a written summary of the hearing will be produced for the high-level meeting.
    • ensure the active participation of people living with HIV and broader civil society, and will be attended by representatives of Member States, UN-accredited NGOs and invited civil society organizations and the private sector.
    • be presided over and organized by the President of the General Assembly in liaison with civil society.

     

    Actions to be taken now in preparation for the Review

    It is vital that faith-based organizations join with wider civil society in ensuring that the outcomes of the 2011 UN AIDS Review are as strong as possible. This requires immediate action now, particularly at country and regional level. Opportunities for advocacy include:

    1. Supporting the negotiation of a strong outcome declaration

    • Contact the National AIDS Program and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country to establish (or strengthen) a relationship that will allow you, and your community sector colleagues, to influence the input of your country's Mission in New York into the negotiation process over the next four months.
    • Identify, collaborate with and offer your support to other civil society partners in your country that are planning to work with your government on the negotiations running up to and during the review in 2011.
    • Familiarize yourself with your country's 2010 report on its progress in implementing its 2001 commitments in order to illustrate and highlight the successes, gaps and ways forward for your country's response to HIV during your discussions with your government. Download the report from: http://www.unaids.org/en/dataanalysis/monitoringcountryprogress/2010progressreportssubmittedbycountries/


    2. Ensuring your government sends a strong and well-prepared delegation to the high-level meeting

    Ask your government to send the highest level of official representation to the high-level meeting

    • Ask also that the delegation includes representatives of civil society, particularly from organizations of people living with HIV. Contact other community organizations in your country to develop a common strategy for this advocacy effort, including identifying individuals who would best represent issues relevant for the HIV response in your community
    • Lobby your government to influence the statements that it makes prior to the meeting in order to influence the ongoing negotiations, galvanize political will and ensure that  the unique perspectives and experience of the community sector are included in these preparations and deliberations


    3. Getting involved in the upcoming Universal Access reviews in your region

    UNAIDS is leading a review of the progress made towards achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support (as outlined in the 2006 declaration). A Universal Access Stocktaking Report will be published in April 2011 ahead of the high-level meeting. So far, the following regional reviews have been planned:

    • East and Southern Africa  (either in Johannesburg or Nairobi, 15-19 February)
    • West and Central Africa (Dakar, late February or early March)
    • Latin America (Mexico City, Mexico, 1-2 March 2011)
    • Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok, Thailand, 7-8 March 2011)
    • Caribbean (follow-up review) (15-16 March)
    • Eastern Europe and Central Asia (end March 2011)
    • Africa (Windhoek, Namibia, April 2011)


    4. Staying informed about preparations for the Review

    • ICASO has set up a list-serve (AIDSreview2011@.googlegroups.com) to circulate information about and facilitate civil society strategizing ahead of the Review. Join ICASO's listserve by emailing Pauline Harriott-Gregory paulinehg@icaso.org (please provide your name, organization, country, and email address).
    • The members of the Civil Society Task Force, including a faith-based representative, will soon be announced by the President of the General Assembly. To receive information from the faith-based representative on the task force and to receive other alerts to support faith-based involvement in the Review, join the EAA's UNGASS listserve by sending an email with your name and organization and the message "subscribe UNGASS2011" to info@e-alliance.ch to add your name to this list serve.



    [1] UN General Assembly Resolution A/Res/65/180: http://icad-cisd.com/pdf/A-65-L49.pdf
    [2] See: http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/dataimport/publications/irc-pub03/aidsdeclaration_en.pdf
    [3] See:  http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/dataimport/pub/report/2006/20060615_hlm_politicaldeclaration_ares60262_en.pdf

    [4] 'Accredited' NGOs are those that:

    • already have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC status) and have requested to be accredited to the meeting;

    • have representatives who are delegates to the Programme Coordination Board of UNAIDS (PCB); and

    • apply for accreditation through the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Services (NGLS) and will be accorded special authorization to attend the review meeting. (please check www.icaso.org for information about accreditation that will be posted once it becomes available).



The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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