The English say ‘Everything that has a beginning has an end’. For UNAIDS 30th Programme Coordinating Board meeting, it came at 5:30pm Geneva Time after a series of well thought and relevant presentations and discussions.
The 3rd day included an update of the financial status, of UNAIDS’ technical support and on the strategic investments. As a reaction to these updates member states requested UNAIDS to provide more information on a number of topics for the next PCB meeting in December 2012. You can imagine the voices were characterized by regional representatives and NGO representatives.
During the afternoon, the UNAIDS technical team had the opportunity to share with delegates the UNAIDS Investment Framework-a thinking tool . Now, if your background in economics is as bad as mine (because I only know about health economics and health care financing units), don’t worry because this wasn’t a whole new thing! The approach of the investment tool is amongst other supportive of young people and women programmes.
Here is also where a call for public private partnership for health came in. This is because as stated again by Mr Sidibé “…UNAIDS can’t do it alone…” There was a call for a multifaceted intervention that should see the private arena participate and contribute, especially in providing health insurance for the poor like for example in Morocco. UNAIDS also presented where it is regarding the restructuring and how this affects staff. As a young public health freak (read specialist), this discussion reminded me of the thinking about investments in health and health care. I saw that UNAIDS is also facing the financial situations, having to make tough decisions to maximize what they get for their money. UNAIDS is thus going through a restructuring moving people from headquarter to the field in order to strengthen the capacity where it is needed the most. Clearly, you could see that there is dedication inside there through the participation and solidarity especially whenever young people, women and key populations at higher risk were talked about.
In the evening hours, I was very impressed with the presentations and discussions on ‘AIDS Security and Humanitarian Response’ from UNHCR and Red Cross representatives! Yessssss!!! I come from the humanitarian world (attached to the Uganda-Denmark-German Red Cross Societies) and I couldn’t help but feel at home when issues of refugee rights to health, unaccompanied minors, children, young people and women’s vulnerability in complex public health emergencies were discussed :)
From the whole meeting, I can confidently say, UNAIDS has a structural, behavioural and medical approach with the groups affected at the centre of their thoughts. The road to ensure Zero New HIV Infections, Zero AIDS related deaths and Zero HIV discrimination to all groups will be successful only if the commitments from both the public and private bodies are respected. As one of the millions of young people living in the current world being faced by a number of public health challenges especially HIV, there couldn’t be any better news.
On a final note, I thank the UNAIDS team and partners that made it possible for young people to be represented. I hope we shall be represented permanently at every UNAIDS PCB meetings. I thank the UNAIDS Secretariat-Science for Action Department, Superstar…Sarah Christoffersen, the CrowdOutAIDS mastermind Mikaela Hildebrand and most importantly you, you result-hungry destiny-determiner, you superstar that clearly without mincing words defined what you want to see in UNAIDS leadership strategy, you zap-zeal-filled action oriented gurus that made your voice and concerns on reproductive health services and rights clear…you, the awesome Crowd! Thank you! Shukran! Merci beacoup! Obrigado!!!!!!!!! 谢谢 (I have used Google translate the Chinese version. Any Chinese young person who wants to teach me Chinese lol) Hats off to you guys and much respects!