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[afro-nets] African negotiators lobby in bad faith at UN HIV/AIDS meeting
- From: "Omololu Falobi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 10:46:28 +0100
African negotiators lobby in bad faith at UN HIV/AIDS meeting
JUNE 1, 2006
African Negotiators lobby in bad faith at UN meeting
Three weeks after the African Union - the highest decision-making regional authority in Africa - endorsed a Common Position on HIV and AIDS, African delegates in New York are reneging on the strong commitments they made to providing access to services for HIV prevention, care and treatment to all those who need them in Africa. At the Abuja Heads of States Summit held from May 2 - 4, African states committed to:
a.. Reaching at least 80% of pregnant women with access to prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT);
b.. Ensuring that 80% of orphans and vulnerable children have access to basic services by 2010;
c.. Ensuring that at least 80% of those in need, especially women and children, have access to HIV/AIDS treatment, including antiretroviral therapy as well as care and support;
d.. Ensuring that at least 80% of target populations have access to voluntary testing and counselling services
e.. Reaching at least 80% of target populations with access to condoms and the skills to use them for HIV prevention.
Although African Heads of States endorsed a strong declaration with clear targets and timeframes for fighting AIDS in Africa, bureaucrats and officials at a UN review are refusing to acknowledge these commitments.
In a surprising turn of events, and a remarkable display of bad faith, negotiators from Gabon, Egypt and South Africa have refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the African Common Position, and have aligned themselves with the United States, the EU and Japan in rejecting the inclusion of targets in the UNGASS Political Declaration.
African negotiators have resisted the inclusion of specific measures to protect and promote the human rights of vulnerable groups, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, adolescents and women. This refusal to acknowledge the people most affected by the global epidemic again flies in the face of the Common Position, which clearly specifies the need to support these and other groups in programmes designed to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS. The positions of the countries listed above are particularly puzzling in light of the evidence regarding the impact of HIV and AIDS: 77% of young people living with HIV and AIDS are young women.
Nigeria is the only African country that has openly spoken out against the undermining of the African Common Position. Not a single other African state has followed suit, despite repeated information notes from the African Union secretariat, informing New York-based African negotiators about the existence and importance of the Common Position.
Instead, silence and apathy have mired the African bloc, and rendered the bloc of over fifty AU member states virtually silent for the duration of the negotiations.
We call on countries such as Namibia and Kenya, which have indicated to civil society that they do not agree with the position articulated by the African negotiators to do so openly. We call on all African countries to honour the commitments made at Abuja three weeks ago and to stop the bad faith negotiations being undertaken in their name.
Issued by the African Civil Society Coalition on AIDS
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