The UN General Assembly has called for a High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS (HLM) to be held on 8 – 10 June 2021 and invited Member States to participate at the highest level. UNAIDS is taking the lead organising the meeting.
The high-level meeting 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS 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.
The official page for communities of people living with, affected by, and at risk of HIV and civil society organisations to engage in the upcoming UN General Assembly 2021 High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS is available following this link>>>.