Feature story

UNAIDS Cosponsors out in force for 9th ICAAP

09 August 2009


The 10 UNAIDS Cosponsors are presenting a strong showing as thousands of delegates converge in Bali, Indonesia, to share ideas, knowledge, best practices, lessons learned and research findings at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP).

The Cosponsors are an integral part of the UN’s response to the global AIDS epidemic and UNAIDS brings together their efforts and resources.

Echoing the Congress theme, ‘Empowering people - strengthening networks’, the Cosponsors are organising and presenting symposia, skills-building workshops and satellite meetings drawing together a number of participants from a range of disciplines with the aim of helping to build and nurture partnerships to bolster the AIDS response in the region.

A number of events are joint Cosponsor initiatives. For example, the Symposium on ‘HIV prevention and most at risk young people’, taking place on 10 August, is sponsored by UNFPA, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, WHO and UNAIDS. The symposium, hosted by the Asia Pacific Regional UN Coordination Group on Most at Risk Young People, is designed to look at the specific needs of this population which is, in general, not being reached by HIV prevention services. This includes injecting drug users, men who have sex with men and sex workers and their clients. Representatives from these groups will also take part in the panel discussion –one further example of how Cosponsor ICAAP activities are designed to involve key populations.

Other examples of Cosponsor activities include UNDP, ILO and UNAIDS (with the Joint United Nations Initiative on Mobility and HIV/AIDS in South East Asia) collaborating on a joint symposium on 12 August entitled, ‘The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Labour Migration and HIV’ in which they will bring their respective expertise to bear on this pressing international issue. UNHCR, along with UNAIDS, is hosting a satellite session on 12 August called ‘Opportunities and challenges in addressing HIV amongst diverse humanitarian populations’. WFP will use a satellite session on 11 August to explore the vital role of nutrition and food security for people living with HIV and will, along with its partners, look at ‘Models for integrating nutrition and food security into HIV care, support and treatment in the Asia Region: Opportunities and challenges’.

The World Bank is also championing the screening, on 10 August, of the film, Suee (Needle) by Cannes Film Festival award winner, Sai Paranjpye, which deals with the lives of injecting drug users and the anti-AIDS stigma they face. The film emerged from the South Asia Region Development Marketplace, a grant programme spearheaded by the Bank and supported by a range of partners including UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNODC and UNDP.

There is an extremely broad range of other Cosponsor activities taking place over the five days of the Congress and a number of these events will be highlighted on the UNAIDS website as the ICAAP progresses.

UNAIDS and its ten Cosponsors work to provide technical support to countries to assist them in the implementation of their national AIDS plans. A ‘division of labour’ guides the technical support provided to enhance coordination, avoid duplication and provide the best assistance available. Each of the Cosponsor organizations leads in at least one technical area. These organizations are:

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

World Food Programme (WFP)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

World Health Organization (WHO)

World Bank