|2006 UNGASS Declaration Reflects Both Setbacks and Progress|
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Contact: Jennifer Kidwell, email@example.com, 212-979-8500
2006 UNGASS Declaration Reflects Both Setbacks and Progress
New York – This week’s high-level UN meeting on HIV/AIDS will close today with governments adopting a final declaration. “It has been a long and difficult week, but we have a document that we can use to make significant progress going forward,” commented Adrienne Germain, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition, which has been following the meeting closely.
According to Germain, there are two main disappointments in this new document, particularly compared with the outcome of the original 2001 UN meeting on HIV/AIDS. First, governments failed to indicate by when they will implement their 2001 commitments. Second, language on financing has been watered down compared to the financial target of 2001—which governments met. “Nonetheless,” Germain remarked, “for the first time and very importantly, this Declaration does commit governments to set ambitious national targets in 2006, including interim targets for 2008, that reflect the urgent need to act.”
She also noted that the 2006 Declaration reflects major advances over the 2001 document in terms of concrete commitments to action.
The language on young people in the document is very strong, and includes references to “comprehensive, evidence-based prevention strategies…including the use of condoms.” Germain remarked, “Finally, the world’s governments—including the most conservative—have stepped up to protect some of the most vulnerable, our young people. They must have access to comprehensive sexuality education and health services.”
The Declaration also includes strong commitments on women’s human rights, and acknowledges the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality. “Empowering women and girls must be the foundation of our efforts to fight this pandemic. Civil society worked hard to help win these agreements, and all governments joined in strong support, except Syria, Pakistan, the U.S., and Iraq.”
The U.S. government last night also insisted that language on financing be weakened. Germain concluded, “This is quite bewildering, given that they have spent much of the week calling on other governments to follow their lead in increasing resources.”
To arrange an interview with Adrienne Germain, contact Jennifer Kidwell at 212-979-8500.
IWHC works to promote and protect the health and rights of women and girls worldwide.