Tell the EU: take the lead to end AIDS

A few weeks ago, we asked you to demand the EU to take the lead to end AIDS.

We wanted the EU to play its part in “creating an AIDS-free generation” and make this clear in its policy and financial mechanisms.

We wanted the EU to renew its Programme of Action for HIV, TB and Malaria, or at least develop a Global Health strategy which would address the three diseases.

And thanks to your efforts, the EU has reacted!

The European Commission (EC) has assured to us that a Programme of Action on Global Health will be ready in early 2013 and that civil society will be able to contribute to it. The EC has also guaranteed us that the principles of the ‘EU Programme for Action to confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis 2007-2011’ will continue to guide the EU response to the three diseases, notably when it comes to responding to the needs of key populations.

The EC has also reassured us that HIV remains a priority for the EU; that the EC will sustain its contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GF) in the coming years; and that it will call on other donors to step up their contributions to the GF.

This is good news, but now we are working with all major European organisations that work on health to get the broadest endorsement possible to make sure that the European Union:

1) Includes specific and measurable objectives on HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in the new Programme of Action on Global Health. And that the plan underscores the importance of a human rights and community based response to HIV and in broader health.

2) Continues to provide leadership by allocating additional funding to meet the urgent needs of the Global Fund before the International AIDS Conference in July 2012; and calls on EU Member States to live up to their pledges and to ensure the Global Fund continues to work in lower and middle income countries (where the bulk of the epidemic is).

3) Upholds its commitment to allocate at least 20% of its official development aid to health and education and introduces a European financial transactions tax (FTT) that raises additional resources for development, health and HIV.

4) Strengthens human rights-based financing mechanisms for communities who are at higher risk of HIV, TB and Malaria in those countries that the Global Fund will no longer be funding, including middle-income countries.

5) Includes concrete measures in the new Programme of Action on Global Health to increase policy coherence for development across the EU’s trade, external action and development and human rights policies, ensuring that its trade agreements do not undermine the rights of people to access affordable essential medicines.

Thank you for your support, we will keep you posted!

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