Asia-Pacific parliamentarians urge sustained action on AIDS and to carry on the MDG agenda beyond 2015
03 April 2013
Parliamentarians from across Asia and the Pacific are urging sustained action on AIDS to ensure an AIDS-free generation in the region. The call came at a Forum held in Bali, Indonesia (25-26 March) where parliamentarians and civil society leaders from 35 countries in Asia-Pacific gathered to assess the progress made and the challenges remaining to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the region.
“We are just starting to see significant results in achieving the MDGs. We cannot abandon them; we must take the MDG agenda forward,” said Hon P Kamalanathan P Pancanathan, Member of Parliament from Malaysia. “We have seen important health, human rights and development gains through the AIDS response that can strengthen other work in global health and sustainable development,” he added.
Calls for a future based on human rights, equality and sustainability resonated throughout the Forum. Rapid increase of access to antiretroviral treatment, the meaningful engagement of communities in the design and roll out of programmes and the removal of laws, policies and practices that hamper access to HIV services for people living with HIV and key populations at higher risk were cited as critical priorities to ensure success in the response to AIDS.
“With political commitment, community mobilization, adequate funding and evidence-based approaches, the end of AIDS and the emergence of an AIDS-free generation can be a shared triumph of the post-2015 era,” said United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Prasada Rao.
We are just starting to see significant results in achieving the MDGs. We cannot abandon them; we must take the MDG agenda forward.
Hon P Kamalanathan P Pancanathan, Member of Parliament from Malaysia
Effective spending and shared responsibility were linked to results across health and development goals. “We have to ensure smart spending – making sure funds are focused where they are most needed and where they produce most efficiency – which in the Asia Pacific region means focusing on key populations at highest risk of HIV,” said Steven J Kraus, Director of UNAIDS Asia and the Pacific Regional Office at the Forum. “As representatives of the people—including and especially the most vulnerable—parliamentarians have a key role to play in giving voice to the voiceless,” he added.
The parliamentarian and civil society Forum took place alongside, and fed into, the fourth meeting of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, hosted by the President of Indonesia as Panel co-chair. As part of the Forum, a selected delegation of 20 senior parliamentarians and local elected representatives shared with the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel their recommendations about key priorities identified for consideration in the crafting of the post-2015 development agenda.
The Parliamentarians and Civil Society Forum was hosted by the Indonesian Parliament, Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IFPPD), and UNORCID, and co-organized by United Nations Millennium Campaign and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, and in collaboration with UNAIDS and a number of other UN agencies, global civil society networks, international nongovernmental organizations, and parliamentary networks.