Action Alert: Mobilizing and supporting diverse community organizations to build an effective response to HIV and AIDS.

Published: September 26, 2011

Dear colleagues, friends and allies:

Please find below a call for signatories to a letter in support of Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network encourages you and/or your organization to sign on.  Please send confirmation of your signature to support@icaso.org, and please send this on to your list serves and networks for additional signatories.

Recently, an Independent High-Level Panel released a report of its review of the Global Fund, which has helped prevent millions of new infections and saved millions of lives through treatment.  As with any such mobilization of resources, there are bound to be a few instances where there is room for improvement.  The Panel’s report, which was commissioned by the Global Fund as part of its commitment to being transparent and effective, provides a sobering analysis of some problems that had come to light and called for better fiduciary and oversight mechanisms to protect resources and help provide assurances to donors.

For a statement issued recently by several leading Canadian organizations, in response to the Panel’s report, please see www.aidslaw.ca or www.icad-cisd.com:  see the September 19th statement "NGO Leaders: Global Fund Champions Proactive Measures against Fraud".

But there are already signals that some will attempt to use the report’s findings as an excuse to cut financial support to the Global Fund and to undermine its Executive Director.  Dr. Michel Kazatchkine has been firmly committed to transparency, to supporting human rights as and to making the Global Fund one of the most effective mechanisms globally in responding to the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.  This is a time when too many countries are looking to abandon their commitments to addressing the HIV epidemic and to development assistance generally, and when human rights are regularly under attack in ways that undermine effective HIV prevention and treatment.  Yet the Global Fund’s new strategic plan, in development, is expected to include bold global targets for responding to HIV, TB and malaria and to recognize prominently the importance of protecting and promoting human rights in overcoming these epidemics.

It is important that there be a clear, solid defence of the Global Fund and of its Executive Director; they are making a crucial difference in the fight against the epidemic.  The letter below is intended to convey that strong support from global civil society.  Please note that if you would like to sign on to this letter, as an individual or an organization, you should send your message to support@icaso.org.

Richard Elliott
Executive Director
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
www.aidslaw.ca
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PLEASE SEE THIS SIGN-ON LETTER BELOW:

Either individual or organizational sign-ons are needed.  Whatever works best for you.  Please send confirmation of your signature to support@icaso.org, and please send this on to your list serves and networks for additional signatories.

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In Support of Michel Kazatchkine

Michel Kazatchkine has been a leader, not only in the fight against AIDS, but in the struggle for human rights throughout his career.  In his term as the Executive Director of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Global Fund has grown and remains the single largest supporter of treatment and prevention for these three leading causes of death.  To date, the Global Fund has supported HIV treatment for 3.2 million people, detected and treated 8.2 million cases of tuberculosis, and distributed over 190 million insecticide treated bed nets to prevent malaria.

The Global Fund is not only the single-largest funding mechanism for global health, it is a unique and innovative mechanism that values country-led leadership, transparency and diversity.  These often-competing values coupled with the large amounts of funding for which the Global Fund is responsible, present innumerable challenges of governance and accountability.

Under Dr. Kazatchkine’s leadership, the Global Fund has created innovative mechanisms to improve direct support to most-at risk populations, placed human rights in the center of the Global Fund’s mission, and ensured that the Fund’s resources are used to empower countries and communities to respond effectively to the diseases.  He has also sought to streamline the Global Fund’s administrative processes and increase transparency and accountability.

The undersigned strongly support Dr. Kazatchkine and his leadership at the Global Fund.  We look forward to working with him and the Secretariat as he works to further strengthen the Fund’s oversight mechanisms and implement its forthcoming strategic plan.

Signatories to Date:

Mary Ann Torres – International Council of AIDS Service Providers (ICASO)
Marine Buissonnière – Open Society Foundations
Peter van Rooijen – International Civil Society Support
Kurt Frieder – Fundacion Huesped – Argentina
David Barr
Richard Elliott – Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

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