Stakeholder consultation report
On 28 and 29 April, 66 participants from Asia and the Pacific came together to prepare for the 8-10 June High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. They discussed progress of implementation of the 2016 Political Declaration to end AIDS, and explored country-level and regional advocacy possibilities.
Michael Kirby, JVR Prasada Rao and Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (APCOM Ambassadors), Dédé Oetomo (Chair of APCOM Regional Advisory Group) as well as Salil Panakadan (UNAIDS Asia and the Pacific) and Francis Joseph (Asian Network of People who Use Drugs) reflected on the progress, gaps, good practices and provided recommendations. This was followed by a Q and A session.
One overall finding was that there must be a continued focus on key populations. Participants highlighted that we must not lose sight of those groups most at risk of getting affected by HIV, and that they must be explicitly and expressly named in the declaration, laws and policies. One participant talked about how targets had not been met in the 2016 Political Declaration: in 2019 there were 690,000 AIDS-related deaths, when the target in the declaration was 500,000. One participant observed that the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 has the right approaches, but that it lacks concrete commitment of states to implement strategies.
There was a great appetite for civil society to become involved in pushing for implementation and monitoring progress of the new 2021 Political Declaration, and a number of concrete activities were put forward.