The General Assembly has called for a High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS (HLM) to be held on 8-10 June 2021 and invites Member States to participate at the highest level. UNAIDS is taking the lead organising the meeting.
Communities and other stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the process leading up to the HLM and in the meeting itself. GNP+ and Aidsfonds have been appointed to act as NGO Co-Conveners to work with UNAIDS to facilitate the active and meaningful participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) and communities in the entire HLM process. The work is led by Florence Anam (GNP+) and Arben Fetai (Aidsfonds) and supported by an HLM project team.
Civil Society Participation
Multi-stakeholder Task Force (MSTF): UNAIDS has set up a Multi-stakeholder Task Force (MSTF) made up of 16 members representing civil society and the private sector to facilitate civil society involvement in the upcoming HLM. The MSTF will give advice on the format, theme, and programme of the multi-stakeholder hearing (MSH) and help identify speakers for the MSH and HLM plenary and panel discussions. Link to list of members of MSTF.
Advisory Group to the Task Force: UNAIDS has also established an Advisory Group to support the Multi-stakeholder Task Force. Invitations have been sent to individuals working, among others, in the areas of paediatrics and HIV, UHC, human rights, gender equality, academia, youth leadership, and more. Link to list of Advisory members.
The mobilisation of civil society and communities in the process leading up to the next UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS (HLM) is critical to the success of the meeting and its outcome.
In addition to active participation at the HLM and the preceding Multistakeholder hearing (MSH), civil society activists have a critical role to play to influence their governments and their positions during the negotiations around the new Political Declaration to be adopted at the HLM. This Political Declaration will replace the one adopted at the 2016 HLM and could provide a powerful advocacy tool for civil society to hold their governments to account.
What You Can Do
In order to ensure that the Political Declaration contains strong commitments to bring an end to AIDS and leave no one behind, there are a number of key advocacy actions civil society and communities can take in the run-up to the HLM:
- Link up with like-minded civil society and community-led organisations and networks in your country to determine joint priorities for communities, raise awareness about the process and organise joint advocacy activities to influence the HLM process
- Contact key government officials engaged with the HLM at the capital level and at the New York Mission level to influence your country’s input into the negotiations around the Political Declaration
- Advocate for your government to include representatives of affected communities in the country delegation to the HLM and advocate for the highest level of government representation at the HLMs (President or Ministerial)
- Contact your national UNAIDS office if you need support or information.
Multi-stakeholder Hearing: An interactive multi-stakeholder hearing (MSH) will take place on 23rd April 2021 in preparation for the HLM in June. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MSH will be streamed live on the UN Web TV. More information on this will be posted here soon.
High-Level Meeting: The high-level meeting will take place on June 8-11, 2021 and is likely to include a mix of virtual and in-person participation. The meeting will involve plenary sessions and up to five thematic panel discussions. The opening plenary meeting will feature statements by the President of the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, a person openly living with HIV, and an eminent person actively engaged in the AIDS response.
Outcome of HLM
A clear and action-oriented political declaration will be agreed upon by member states to advance towards achieving the commitment of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Who to Contact
For more information on civil society organisation participation, contact: