On Tuesday 26th February 2019 STOPAIDS, alongside co-authors and members Frontline AIDS and STRIVE, launched a new publication in the Houses of Parliament – HIV Beyond Goal 3: Interconnections between HIV, Human Rights and Sustainable Development.
We were delighted that Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP chaired our Question Time style panel at the event which included speakers Mercy Ngulube – Co-Chair of the Sophia Forum, Lord Jack McDonnell – Co-Chair of the All Party-Parliamentary group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Susie Pelly, Policy Advisor to the All Party-Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS; Professor Melissa Leach – Director of the Institute of Development Studies, and Professor Charlotte Watts – Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department for International Development (DFID).
From left to right: Lord Jack McConnell, Professor Charlotte Watts, Mercy Ngulube, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Professor Melissa Leach
The new publication seeks to make the links between the target of ending AIDS by 2030, enshrined in Goal 3, and a number of other goals and targets across the spectrum of the SDGs and also existing human rights law.
It highlights that unless governments around the world, including our own, commit to making these links and seizing on the synergies and opportunities the Goals present, we will not be successful.
Speaking on the panel in response to a question from STOPAIDS Director Mike Podmore on this very point Lord McConnell said, “We need to use the UK’s Voluntary National Review in 2019 as opportunity to look forward and commit to progress moving forward. The UK must be a leading example to other countries.” He went on to say that “The UK should create SDG strategy at which sits cabinet level and includes civic and community engagement in its implementation and monitoring.”
Financing and funding to deliver the achievement of the Goals was also a big subject of discussion with Mercy Ngulube reminding us all that if we want to see results, we cannot keep underfunding the response. This is a highly pertinent point in a year that sees the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria (Global Fund). Some within civil society, including STOPAIDS, are disappointed that the figure set out in investment case from the Global Fund does not represent what is needed to get back on track and meet global need in not only the HIV response, but the TB and Malaria responses too.
Speaking on behalf of DFID, Professor Charlotte Watts said, “We need to get the financing models right to make sure the money reaches those who most need it.” STOPAIDS is in total agreement and hopes the UK government will continue to be a leading donor to the Global Fund, which has proven its effectiveness as a vehicle for saving lives and driving progress since its inception in 2002.
At the reception a number of parliamentarians including Conservative MP Gillian Keegan, Labour MP Martin Whitfield, Scottish National Party MP Joanna Cherry and Baronnes Masham joined us and showed their support for the achievement of the Global Goals.