Ending the AIDS epidemic: civil society needed now more than ever
19 July 2014
The vital role that a vibrant civil society plays in strengthening and deepening the AIDS response at the national, regional and global levels was recognized and championed by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé during an informal consultation at AIDS 2014 called Working Together to End the AIDS Epidemic and Leave No One Behind.
According to Mr Sidibé, the dialogue reinforced the importance of having the voices and perspectives of civil society inform his speeches, conversations and interactions throughout AIDS 2014.
More than 80 participants representing a range of civil society organizations from around the world and UNAIDS discussed how they could work even more closely together to achieve the end of the epidemic by 2030. It was agreed that this would require redoubling efforts in scaling up quality service delivery, including sustained access to HIV treatment, challenging stigma and discrimination and promoting an equity and human rights agenda. In addition, the post-2015 development agenda and how civil society can be an integral part of it, such as contributing to the setting of country-level targets, was explored.
Mr Sidibé highlighted that without reinforcing communities it will be difficult to sustain the response. He promised that UNAIDS, including its Community Mobilization Division, would be available to offer practical, concrete support to increase civil society engagement and participation in the strategic effort to end the AIDS epidemic and leave no one behind.
"We need to continue challenging the status quo. Ending the AIDS epidemic is about pushing for no one being left behind."
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