Inter-Regional Planning Meeting Eastern Europe/Central Asia Region and the Asia-Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM)

Published: June 22, 2011

Inter-Regional Planning Meeting
Eastern Europe/Central Asia Region and the Asia-Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM)
Pattaya, Thailand (June 21-23, 2011)

Dear colleagues,

This week, UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre and the UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and CIS jointly convened an inter-regional planning meeting in Thailand with community-based organizations from Eastern Europe/Central Asia and the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) to exchange experiences to define and establish an Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional advocacy coordination body for addressing the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men and transgender persons .

The proposed goal of the EECA advocacy coordination mechanism is to promote an enabling environment for the realization and resourcing of right based programmes reaching MSM and transgender persons in the region, including strengthening the evidence base, improving the health sector response to the HIV epidemic in this key population and ensuring the respect of their human rights and sexual health needs. This South-South capacity building activity is a direct outcome of the Regional Consultation on HIV epidemic in MSM and transgender persons in November 2010 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The collaboration between the two UNDP regional centers on MSM dates back to an Asia Regional Consultation on MSM HIV Care and Support consultation held in 2009.

Specific objectives for the Inter-Regional Planning Meeting include:

– Sharing effective advocacy strategies employed by APCOM
– Developing a comprehensive understanding of the APCOM architecture and functional roles of members
– Defining approaches employed by APCOM that could be replicated in the context of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia and factors that would support or hinder implementation of such model
– Building resource mobilization and sustainability strategies for the EECA regional MSM advocacy coordination body; Review both Multi-country Global Fund Grants on MSM/HIV in Asia.
– Constructing a mapping of partnerships for the EECA regional MSM advocacy coordination body
– Review recommendations of the EECA 2010 MSM Consultation and identify potential strategies and partnerships for implementation by an EECA Regional MSM coordination body.
– Develop and cost a workplan for implementation of the MSM consultation recommendations by the regional coordination body.
– Defining key advocacy priorities for the EECA regional MSM advocacy coordination body

The effort to establish an EECA mechanism follows a recommendation of the 150 community and government representatives who attended the 2010 Kiev Regional Consultation on MSM and HIV. Six of the fifteen members of the Expert Peer Group that organized the Kiev Consultations were supported by UNDP and the Global Fund to travel to Thailand to participate in the inter-regional meeting.

The inter-regional meeting was held on 21-22 June 2011 in Pattaya, Thailand. EECA Participants (see attached participants list) then meet for one day, 23 June to formulate an EECA regional action plan.

APCOM is a regional coalition of MSM and HIV community-based organisations, the government sector, donors, technical experts and the UN system. The main purpose is advocating for political support and increases in investment and coverage of HIV services in Asia Pacific. The development of APCOM provides a strong track record of regional advocacy work and partnership building, one of the first steps in the development process of an Eastern European and Central Asian regional advocacy coordination body is the exchange of experiences and building on existing models. 

The EECA-APCOM Joint Regional Meeting is being jointly supported and coordinated by the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre and the UNDP APRC in partnership with WHO Regional Office for Europe, UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, UNAIDS Regional Support Teams in Bangkok and Moscow, the Global Fund and the APCOM Secretariat.

For more information on the capacity building efforts, please contact Edmund Settle or Dudley Tarlton.

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