UN Summit on HIV/AIDS adopts ambitious targets and focus on women and children

10 JUNE 2011 | UNITED NATIONS New York

More than 3000 people came together at the United Nations in New York for the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS to take stock of the progress and challenges of the last 30 years and shape the future AIDS response.

More than 30 Heads of State, Government and Vice Presidents attended the meeting which included official plenary and five panel sessions along with 40 individual side events. On the final day of the High-Level Meeting on AIDS, UN Member States adopted a declaration to guide country responses to HIV over the next five years.

The declaration adopted by Member States of the General Assembly contains clear, measurable targets, including to halve sexual transmission of HIV by 2015, to reduce HIV transmission among people who inject drugs by 50 per cent by 2015, to ensure that by 2015 no child will be born with HIV, to increase universal access to antiretroviral therapy, to get 15 million people onto life-saving treatment by 2015, and to halve tuberculosis deaths in people living with HIV by 50 per cent by 2015.

“These bold new targets set by world leaders will accelerate our push to reduce the transmission of HIV,” Assembly President Joseph Deiss. “The challenge that now remains is to implement these commitments and here leadership and mutual accountability are crucial.” Member States also pledged to close the global resource gap for AIDS and work towards increasing funding to between $22 and $24 billion per year by 2015.

Paul De Lay, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS – UNAIDS - described as “momentous” the launch of a global plan to eliminate new HIV infections in children by 2015, which is intended to stop the 370,000 new HIV infections in children which are currently happening every year and to keep mothers alive.

Dr. De Lay noted that the declaration clearly outlines the urgent need to increase access to HIV services for people most at risk of infection, including men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers. The pledge to eliminate gender inequality, gender-based abuse and violence and to empower women and girls must be fulfilled without delay, he added.

The week also featured a number of side events on issues such as women, girls and HIV; faith-based action to prevent HIV; and AIDS and disability. There was also the adoption by the Security Council of a new resolution that seeks to protect peacekeepers and the communities that they interact with, as well as help end violence against women in conflict.

Find links on your right to PMNCH partners’ releases on the Summit.

MNCH excerpts from the summit declaration

Below, find relevant excerpts from the 2011 Summit Declaration regarding maternal, newborn and child health in relation to HIV/AIDS.

“Welcome the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, undertaken by a broad coalition of partners in support of national plans and strategies, to significantly reduce the number of maternal, newborn and under-five child deaths, as a matter of immediate concern, including by scaling up a priority package of high-impact interventions and integrating efforts in sectors such as health, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, poverty reduction and nutrition ..."

“Remain deeply concerned that globally women and girls are still the most affected by the epidemic and that they bear a disproportionate share of the caregiving burden, and that the ability of women and girls to protect themselves from HIV continues to be compromised by physiological factors, gender inequalities, including unequal legal, economic and social status, insufficient access to health care and services, including for sexual and reproductive health, and all forms of discrimination and violence, including sexual violence and exploitation against them..."

“Welcome the establishment of UN-Women as a new stakeholder that can play an important role in global efforts to combat HIV by promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, which are fundamental for reducing the vulnerability of women to HIV, and the appointment of the first Executive Director of UN-Women;...”

Press releases and feature stories

UNFPA: Special Needs of Women and Young People Highlighted at AIDS Meeting

10 JUNE 2011 | UNITED NATIONS, New York — World leaders gathered in New York for the 2011 United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS have launched a Global Plan that will make significant strides towards eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive.

UNAIDS: The Missing Face of Children and AIDS: Progress on Ten Years of Commitments

09 june 2011- Considerable progress has been made in putting children at the heart of the global AIDS response. During a side-event on 9 June called The missing face of children and AIDS: Progress on ten years of commitment, delegates explored how all children, everywhere can be assured access to good quality HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.

UNAIDS: It’s possible: Making the most of linking sexual and reproductive health and HIV responses

09 JUNE 2011| Linking sexual and reproductive health and HIV is of critical importance. On 8 June, during a side event at this week’s High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York, the question of how exactly such linkages can be strengthened was explored in depth.

Unaids: First Ladies of the world unite to prevent new HIV infections among children

08 JUNE 2011 - First Ladies join forces to call for integration of HIV and maternal, newborn and child health programmes at special event during United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS