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UN Review on AIDS


In June 2011, United Nations Member States met in New York to review the progress made in the HIV response over the last ten years and issue a renewed political declaration in the global response to HIV and AIDS. The review was based on past commitments and targets:

  • A Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Twenty-sixth Special Session in June 2001. In adopting the 2001 Declaration, Member States obligated themselves to regularly report on their progress to the General Assembly (often called UNGASS Reviews referring to the UN General Assembly’s Special Session). The Secretary-General charged the UNAIDS Secretariat with the responsibility for developing the reporting process, accepting reports from Member States on his behalf, and preparing a regular report for the General Assembly. Member States are required to submit Country Progress reports to the UNAIDS Secretariat every two years.
  • In 2006 there was a High Level Meeting on AIDS which resulted in a Political Declaration with updated commitments and targets which were due to be reached by 2010. Central to this declaration was the commitment to achieve Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010. But this goal has yet to be realized.

During the 2011 UN Review on AIDS, faith-based organizations joined with wider civil society and governments to identify progress, account for underperformance, renew political and financial commitment to sustain the response, and chart the way forward.

Civil Society Hearing (8 April, New York)

The EAA facilitated faith-based input into the Civil Society Hearing by:

  1. supporting faith-based speakers in the main panel sessions of the hearing. [ Watch the full proceedings ]
  2. supporting faith-based representation in the pre-meetings of civil society ahead of the hearing.
  3. holding two events for faith-based delegates at the hearing, including a multi-faith prayer gathering and a debrief meeting.

Read the EAA’s related press release about the hearing here: [ Link ]

High-Level Meeting (8-10 June, New York)

At the High Level Meeting in June, three side events were co-organized by EAA member organizations:

  1. Faith-Based Action to Achieve Universal Access: Confronting the Impacts of Funding Cutbacks and Advocating for the Special Needs of Mothers and Children Living with HIV, Co-organized by Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic HIV and AIDS Network and Catholic Medical Mission Board
  2. Faith-Based Organizations in HIV prevention for men who have sex with men, Co-organized by the Government of Sweden, Church of Sweden and the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
  3. An Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, Co-organized by the EAA, UNAIDS, UNFPA and other religious organizations

The Interfaith Prayer Breakfast was held on 10 June at the Ford Foundation and attended by approximately 150 religious leaders and faith-based organization representatives, governmental leaders, senior UN officials, civil society representatives and people living with HIV. The event was co-moderated by Bishop Gunnar Stålsett (Bishop Emeritus of Oslo, Norway, and Moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders) and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld (Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Association in New York). Speakers included Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, the President of Fiji His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the First Lady of Malawi Her Excellency Callista Mutharika, Bishop Yvette Flunder from the United Church of Christ in the USA and Mr Pablo Torres Aguilera from dance4life in Mexico. Prayers were led by representatives of the Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Hindu and Christian traditions.

During the prayer breakfast, participants were given the opportunity to dialogue at their tables on how we can build strategic partnerships across our respective sectors to achieve universal access by 2015. In the reporting back and concluding remarks, participants echoed the statements made by Bishop Yvette Flunder, calling for justice, dignity and compassion in the response to HIV without judgment or discrimination. Before the UN political declaration was formally released, participants called for the naming of key populations: men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, prisoners and injecting drug users. Participants emphasized the role that faith-based organizations play in their own communities and through forging partnerships with governments and civil society in achieving the UNAIDS strategy of zero new infections, zero deaths and zero stigma and discrimination. View the webcast and read the rapporteurs’ summary and speeches from the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast under the Documents section to your right.

At the conclusion of the United Nations Review on HIV and AIDS, EAA members welcomed the release of the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our Efforts to Eliminate HIV/AIDS. Read the UN Political Declaration - PDF (EN, FR, ES).

  • 6 June Press release: Religious leaders clear: AIDS response must be strengthened [ Link ]
  • 9 June Press release: AIDS Review: Funding cuts undermine progress [ Link ]
  • 10 June Press release: AIDS Review: Faith leaders assess new targets, embrace justice [ Link ]
  • 14 June Press release: Faith leaders look at next steps in AIDS response [ Link ]
Background Documents


Advocacy Resources






The UN General Assembly has adopted the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS - PDF (EN, FR, ES)

Rapporteurs' Summary from Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - PDF (EN)

Pablo Torres Aguilera's Remarks at the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - PDF (EN)

UN Deputy Secretary-General's Remarks at the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - PDF (EN)

Bishop Yvette Flunder's Remarks at the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - PDF (EN)

EAA Talking Points for Religious Leaders and Faith-based Organizations - PDF (EN)

Catholic HIV and AIDS Network Advocacy Paper on Funding Cuts and Flat-lining - PDF (EN)

Imam Dr. Abdul-Malik Ali's Opening Prayer at the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - PDF (EN)

Homi Gandhi's Zoroastrian Closing Prayer at the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - PDF (EN)