The joint statement from the Communities, Developed Country NGO & Developing Country NGO Delegations was delivered by Ms Rachel Ong, Communications Focal Point, Communities Delegation, on the 16th September 2017.

 

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COMMUNITIES, DEVELOPED COUNTRY NGO & DEVELOPING COUNTRY NGO DELEGATIONS
STATEMENT AT THE 5TH VOLUNTARY REPLENISHMENT

On behalf of the communities and civil society delegations on the Board of the Global Fund, we express immense appreciation to the Canadian Government for their leadership in hosting the 5th Replenishment Meeting and the hospitality received.

We thank all donors who have made pledges, especially those that have increased their commitments despite the current economic and political climate.

We urge donors who have yet to pledge, to do whatever they can to take us up to and beyond the $13bn replenishment target. This will send a bold message to the world about our shared commitment and responsibility to ending the three diseases, and through this realise the SDGs, UHC, and most essentially through the Global Fund – Leave No One Behind.

We have three calls.

Our first call is for a fully funded Global Fund. The $13 billion target is the minimum. It is not the ceiling.

The Global Fund has gifted the world with an alternative approach to development aid. In addition to the millions of lives saved, the Global Fund is to be credited for contributing towards a more inclusive and just world. The Global Fund needs to be fully funded to sustain its legacy, so that it can continue to support people living with and most affected by the three diseases wherever they are.

A fully funded Global Fund can ensure transitions are implemented so that it protects the gains and investments made to date.

Our second call is for implementing countries to increase their domestic investments for health, including for the three diseases. However, we know that any increases in domestic funding will matter very little when global trade agreements allow pharmaceutical corporations to dictate the prices of drugs. The international community needs to work together to oppose unfair trade agreements that impede developing countries’ ability to increase their domestic health investments.

In addition, the Global Fund has played a catalytic role in reshaping relations between governments, private sector, civil society, and communities of people living with and affected by the three diseases. This has broken new grounds in development approaches, and enabled and empowered communities and civil society to critically engage in decision-making processes at all levels. Therefore, sustaining and expanding investments in community, human rights and gender equality is needed to demonstrate critical impact and results.

And thus, our third call is for all duty bearers to ensure, protect and scale up funding for vulnerable and key affected communities, and for community systems strengthening, human rights and gender equality, via and beyond the Global Fund.

As communities and civil society, even though we have no money, we do however, pledge the following:

ONE. We will remain steadfast in taking governments to account for ensuring that Global Fund country planning and implementation processes are transparent, inclusive of key populations, communities and civil society; support community systems strengthening, gender transformation, and advancement of human rights; strengthen HIV and TB integration, and work towards malaria elimination.

TWO. Talk is cheap. We need all donors to walk the talk. We will hold all donors accountable in converting your pledges to actual contributions. And we will continue to urge for increased funding over the coming years; and

THREE, We will hold implementers to account for increasing domestic financing, delivering full expression of demand, and prioritising investments where they are most needed.

As we all work towards achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target, the Global TB Targets, and malaria elimination, let us keep in mind the most marginalised and vulnerable communities that would be inevitably left behind without sufficient resources to end the epidemics by 2030.

Earlier on, Ahmed and other civil society representatives shared their stories about living with and affected by the three diseases. Being diagnosed with HIV in the 90s, means that you would never have thought you would live this long. I don’t think it would differ if you come from a developed country, or even from a developing country. It doesn’t matter where you come from – be it a middle income country, or a high burden, low income country – a life is not worth any less in any country.

The 5th Voluntary Replenishment of the Global Fund cannot end here in Montreal and we will all be accountable for what we can achieve to end it for good.

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The statement delivered is available here.