UN Economic and Social Commission in Asia and Pacific members adopt new Resolution on HIV ahead of High Level Meeting on AIDS

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UN Economic and Social Commission in Asia and Pacific members adopt new Resolution on HIV ahead of High Level Meeting on AIDS

01 June 2011

Resolution 67/9 on HIV was endorsed at the 67th UN ESCAP Commission held in Bangkok, Thailand from 19-25 May 2011. Credit: UN ESCAP

In the lead-up to the 2011 General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS to take place in New York from 8-10 June, the 62 Members and Associate Members of the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Commission in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) have unanimously adopted a new Resolution on HIV. The resolution reconfirms commitment of countries in the region to reach universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and to address critical barriers hampering responses to AIDS.

Cosponsored by the Governments of Indonesia, Australia, Fiji, Thailand and Myanmar, the 67th Commission Session, held at the ESCAP headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, passed the Resolution on Wednesday 25 May 2011.

The HIV Resolution was developed following the Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on Universal Access held at the end of March, at which over 250 representatives from governments, international organizations, donors and civil society from nearly 30 countries agreed upon necessary actions from the region towards the vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths.

“Thirty years since AIDS was first discovered, many countries have made progress in their HIV responses, but the agenda is unfinished. To ‘get to zero’ we need to unite as a region and redouble our efforts, making sure they are focused to reach those who need them most,” said Dr Nafsiah Mboi, Secretary of the Indonesian National AIDS Commission.

To ‘get to zero’ we need to unite as a region and redouble our efforts, making sure they are focused to reach those who need them most

Dr Nafsiah Mboi, Secretary of the Indonesian National AIDS Commission.

Recalling previously adopted Resolutions and commitments on HIV made by the Commission, ESCAP Resolution 67/9 calls upon members and associate members to further intensify actions to reach the unmet goals and targets of the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

The Resolution emphasizes members’ agreements to support the achievement of 80% coverage for populations at higher risk including people who use drugs, people who buy and sell sex, men who have sex with men and transgender people, with a view to achieving targets on universal access to HIV services.

“We welcome this strong endorsement by Members of ESCAP. With less than one month to go before the High Level Meeting on AIDS, this Resolution is timely and shows the commitment of the region to respond to HIV and particularly to removing barriers which can hamper progress,” said UNAIDS Regional Director, Steven Kraus.

The new declaration calls on governments in the region to ensure the commitment of a greater proportion of national resources to improve the programmatic effectiveness of the HIV responses. Resolution 67/9 also urges a review of national laws, policies and practices to enable the full achievement of universal access targets with a view to eliminating all forms of discrimination against people affected and infected with HIV. Finally, it underlines that to better address HIV, countries must continue to develop their national strategies to address all forms of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, particularly against women and girls.

UN ESCAP’s Social Development Director, Nanda Krairiksh underlined the significance of the Resolution endorsement for the region: "Governments in the Asia-Pacific region are moving forward to ensure greater effectiveness in national HIV responses. They are calling for greater financial sustainability, resource allocation and scaling-up of the full range of actions to ensure universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support," she said.