The UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development welcomes the report of the High-Level Panel of the Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The report, combining months of consultation with stakeholders across the world, sets out an ambitious vision to end extreme poverty. It has human rights and addressing inequality at its core and acknowledges health as an essential component of ending poverty.
As HIV advocates, we wholeheartedly support the Panel’s transformative shift that proposes that no one should be left behind. People living with HIV and key populations including people who use drugs, sex workers and LGBT communities are amongst those marginalised groups who are excluded from accessing human rights and development. Through the disaggregation of data, the HLP commitment that targets should only be considered achieved if they are met by all relevant social groups must include people living with HIV and key affected populations.
Too much progress has been made on the current MDGs for us to drop them now. We are therefore pleased that the Panel reinforced the need to continue with the unfinished business of the MDGs. With seven million people still unable to access HIV treatment and 8.7 million new TB cases a year, we must continue to honour the commitments we made to those people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
We are pleased with the health goal that focuses on ensuring healthy lives – we agree that the goals must be outcome focused and that synergies between goals are maximised. We welcome the specific inclusion of a target on HIV, TB and malaria and the recognition of other burdens of disease including NCDs. However, we feel that this target should be a candidate for a zero goal rather than just a reduction in disease burden. In line with commitments made by member states on HIV, we are calling for an END to AIDS and TB related deaths. Recognising the many complex and bi-directional linkages between mitigating HIV and the ability for all people to fulfil their sexual and reproductive health and rights, the inclusion of SRHR as a health target is much welcomed.
We also support the focus on international trade law and strengthened accountability of businesses, remembering that MDG 8E (access to affordable essential medicines) will not be met. Governments and business must come to agreement on international trade laws that work for the poorest communities of the world.
The specific goal on achieving gender equality is also welcomed, as is the integrated focus on women and girls as an issue cutting across goals, and through data disaggregation, recognising the fact that the poorest of the poor are women, and that women and girls continue to face structural barriers to achieving basic human rights. We are pleased to see that ending violence against women, and addressing property rights and access to credit, are among the focus areas of the gender equality goal.
We are encouraged that the Panel sees civil society as a vital partner in designing, realising and monitoring the new Post-2015 agenda. The report pointed to the fact that civil society organisations are often the ones who provide basic services (including health care) to those most vulnerable and marginalised, so our part in ensuring the Panel’s vision of no-one left behind cannot be understated. We now appeal to the UN Secretary General to ensure that civil society are included in a meaningful way in the remaining process to decide the Post-MDG agenda.