Civil society compiles ‘asks’ for UN AIDS meeting; Orgs urge Obama to personally attend

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A group of national, regional, global and constituency-based organizations have developed a civil society “zero draft” declaration to assist in coordinated advocacy with United Nations (UN) participating governments in advance of the upcoming UN high-level meeting on AIDS.  Organizations intend the draft to be used during negotiations with governments in New York and in the national capitals around the world in advance of the meeting, slated for June 8 to 10 in New York City.

UN member states are expected to adopt a new declaration at the meeting that reiterates current commitments and commits to actions to combat global AIDS. The “zero draft” aims to influence the outcome document by calling for a renewed and urgent commitment to reach universal access goals by 2015. Goals were set at the 2001 high-level meeting, to include the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission by 2010, but have not been reached. The zero draft urges members to “make available to their citizens the full complement of evidence-based HIV prevention, care, treatment, and support technologies and tools—regardless of possible objections on moral, legal, or political grounds—as a commitment to the human right to health.”

The draft addresses human rights, treatment and prevention, care and support prioritizing community-based services, financing, accountability, and health systems strengthening encouraging the use of the HIV response as an example to elevate commitments to addressing other public health issues.

The full list of endorsements will be sent to all UN Missions in New York and other key stakeholders. Interested organizations can still sign on to the full declaration by emailing

In related news, 50 global health, human rights and religious organizations joined together this week in a letter calling on President Barack Obama to personally attend the June UN AIDS meeting. The letter also encourages the president and his fellow U.S. delegates to echo important messages at the meeting, aimed at achieving the following outcomes: 

  • Ensuring HIV treatment for 13 million people globally, with the U.S. raising its commitment to 6 million people by 2013.
  • Reducing the sexual transmission of HIV by 50 percent, including among key populations, eliminating all new infections associated with drug use and scaling up evidence-based prevention in the highest burden countries.
  • Eliminating HIV transmission from mother-to-child through a bold U.S. pledge to ensure interventions for women to prevent vertical transmission that are based in human rights.
  • Reducing tuberculosis (TB) deaths in people living with HIV by 50 percent ensuring access to TB screening, preventive therapy and treatment, and antiretroviral therapy for all HIV-infected individuals suffering or at risk of TB.

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