||Ricardo Baruch [ profile ]
Youth leadership and the HLM on HIV
May 24th, 2011 - 19:26:54
Message from UNAIDS:
Young people leading the HIV
The 2011 United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS (HLM) is an
unprecedented opportunity for United Nations Member States to engage, invite,
and cultivate young leaders in the HIV response. This Meeting provides an
important opportunity for countries to recommit and refocus their response to
AIDS. Strategic space should be opened to meaningfully engage young people in
all the different processes leading up to the Meeting.
As the international community marks 30 years since the first cases of AIDS,
UNAIDS has made it a priority to unleash the potential for a new generation of
young people to advance the global AIDS response. To this end, the recent Global
Youth Summit on HIV in Bamako, with more than 150 young leaders from around the
world, issued a Call to Action, demanding a new and transformative leadership -
to empower young leaders in the AIDS response (www.whatabouthiv.org)
A new generation of younger and globally connected leaders can generate
significant new ideas and new energy to accelerate progress in the AIDS
response. In the lead up to the High Level Meeting, young people must be engaged
as equal partners for countries to reach the goal of universal access to HIV
prevention, treatment, care and support.
Young people at the HLM
The United Nations Secretary-General, in his report to the HLM, calls for
meaningfully engaging young leaders, both in the lead-up to the HLM and in its
follow up. Countries have been encouraged to bring young people as members of
their delegations to the HLM and engage with them in the country preparations.
Special events with, and led by young people at the HLM in New York are:
· A Youth Caucus on the 7 June as a forum for young leaders who are
attending the HLM to come together to contextualize the outcome declaration and
create a forward strategy to build a new generation of leaders for the HIV
response and ensure youth voices on HIV issues are heard in the aftermath of the
· A Youth and Prevention side-event on 9 June will follow up the Call to
Action made by participants at the Mali Youth Summit on HIV, focusing on
programmes that work for young people and young leaders as agents of change in
the HIV response and in scaling up prevention.
To prepare for the HLM, with a special lens on what ideas, engagement and
commitments young people can contribute to the process, governments can engage
young leaders in dialogue about country-level issues and opportunities for
leveraging an effective response. The report of the UNSG to the HLM as well as
the Mali Call to Action can meaningfully serve as entry points for dialogue
specific to individual country response.
Young leaders, youth organizations and networks of young people at the country
level can be invited to meet with national leaders in preparing the delegation
to the HLM, and provide input for a youth representative in the delegation. The
UNAIDS team in each country is ready to support and enable conversations about
meaningfully engaging young leaders in the AIDS response in the lead-up to the
Delegations are encouraged to seize this opportunity to actively support this
process of engagement by reaching out to diverse youth networks and key
officials in governments to advance a new generation of leadership.
If you have any questions about the Mali meeting or our engagement with young
people at the HLM please do contact Anne May Andersen at andersena (at) unaids.org or
Rachel Bienenstock at bienenstockr (at) unaids.org.