Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS
Posted by Sunny Bjerk , January 09, 2013
Image courtesy of unaids.org
I am pleased to tell you that Housing Works has been elected as a representative to the NGO delegation of the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS at the Programme Coordinating Board’s December meeting. I will be representing Housing Works in that role over the next two years.
If you are unfamiliar with the “PCB,” it is the governing body of UNAIDS. Its membership includes 22 UN member states, 12 UN sponsoring organizations, and, unlike any other United Nations entity or program, five NGO seats that are shared among 10 NGO’s who rotate as an alternate representative. The 10 NGOs are selected from five regions of the world. Housing Works is one of two North American representatives.
NGO’s generally serve for two or three year terms. NGO’s on the PCB cannot vote, but they can participate in debate and can propose “decision points.” By tradition, the Board makes its decisions by consensus, making the right to vote less important. Also by tradition, the NGO delegations operates by consensus as the voice of people living with HIV, key at-risk populations, and organized civil society.
I am proceeded in this position by the MSM Global Forum, ably represented by George Ayala, and am currently serving with Ebony Johnson, who represents the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS.
Housing Works applied for this role with a couple of goals in mind. First, we would like to ensure that HIV/AIDS is included in substantive ways in the United Nations’ post-2015 development goals. Second, we would like to see UNAIDS promote housing and other structural interventions that need to be implemented along with biomedical approaches if the disparities in the AIDS pandemic are truly to be addressed. Third, we see this as a forum for grappling with the human rights injustices, particularly those impacting on the LGBT community, people who use drugs, sex workers, and homeless people, that perpetuate the epidemic.
I would like to take advantage of this list to broaden C2EA’s awareness of the role of international bodies such as UNAIDS in the fight against AIDS, the role the United States plays in these bodies, and the role that these bodies can play impacting on US policy, both domestic and international. Moreover, I am supposed to be representing you. So I would love to hear from you.
Charles King, President/CEO Housing Works
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