Ensuring a Bold Response to the Political Declaration Zero Draft
MSMGF has provided recommendations on several key advocacy entry points to influence the document drafts that lead-up to the High-Level Meeting (HLM) in June. These include:
April 15 – Release of the Zero Draft Political Declaration
The UN Mission co-facilitators Switzerland and Zambia have indicated that they will release the “zero draft” of the political declaration on this date. MSMGF hopes that, at a minimum, this draft will include critical language from the 2011 Political Declaration, including specific mention of key populations most affected by HIV according to epidemiological data, especially gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, and transgender women. Ideally, the Zero Draft will go further than the 2011 Political Declaration, including several items discussed in MSMGF’s Unfinished Business policy brief, such as the need to:
- Fully fund comprehensive HIV and other STI prevention, care and treatment programs that are competently delivered and tailored to the needs of men who have sex with men
- Ensure universal and unimpeded access to sexual health programs, including HIV and other STI services
- Decriminalize homosexuality
Each of these items should be appropriately framed in the Zero Draft within the language of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG #3 “Good Health and Well-Being,” SDG #10 “Reduced Inequalities,” and SDG #16 “Peace and Justice.”
Advocates will likely be able to receive the Zero Draft through several sources, possibly through their UN mission delegations and their local Ministry of Health, and certainly through global civil society organizations including MSMGF. Once advocates receive the Zero Draft, they will have the opportunity to express their concerns and provide feedback in several ways:
- Provide direct feedback to UN mission delegations in New York City. This will be most effective through in-person meetings in New York City but can also occur via requests for email and phone conversations with local country delegates.
- Provide direct feedback via local civil society to government ministries in country capitals. Depending upon the specific country, these ministries will likely include the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In some countries, this may include smaller ministries, such as ministries that address gender, social inclusion, and vulnerable populations.
- Consult with regional civil society partners, who have provided inputs for the HLM political declaration via “regional position statements.” ICASO has compiled them here.
April 25 – First Negotiations on the Zero Draft
The first round of negotiations, or “first reading,” of the Zero Draft will occur among UN mission delegations in New York City on April 25th. It will be especially crucial for advocates to provide feedback to delegates and government ministries before this first round of negotiations, so as to set the tone for additional negotiation rounds leading up to June. In addition, mission delegations will likely be requesting feedback from government ministries in country capitals between April 15th and April 25th in order to inform their perspectives on the negotiations. As a result, we emphasize the crucial importance of receiving and reviewing the Zero Draft as soon as it is released on April 15th, and then following up with UN delegates and government ministries immediately thereafter.
There will likely be additional advocacy entry points in the weeks after April 25th, and we will continue to provide updates on these opportunities as we learn of them.
A downloadable PDF version of the full community update is available here.
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