On the fifth day of the International AIDS Conference there was a surprise demonstration in one of the plenary sessions in which the next five years of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would discussed. The plenary had the presence of Gabriel Jaramillo – General Manager of the Global Fund, Eric Goosby – U.S. Ambassador for AIDS and Mireille Guigaz – Ambassador of France to AIDS.
The protesters, who stormed into the conference shouting “End Aids, no caps on our lives!”, assured that the new funding system that wants to be implemented in the Global Fund is incompatible with the desire to achieve an “AIDS Free Generation”. The activists gained access to the microphone and called upon the consequences they may have if the caps on funding for the Global Fund are implemented. They said that the only way to stop AIDS is with a Global Fund which is fully funded, with full ambition and with full extension funds.
The principles solicited from the Civil Society were:
- The Global Fund needs to stay demand driven: countries need to be enabled to express full demand that reflects an analysis of the full need and the funding gap.
- The new model should not introduce any caps, ceilings or envelopes, because:
- They limit expression of demand
- They limit opportunities for resource mobilization
- They create a false minimum
- They will by definition be low
- They are not a guarantee that the funding required will be provided
- The model should not make reservations for specific interventions
- The model should honour country ownership and the multi stakeholder partnership (including civil society)
After concluding their presentation of petitions, the activists provided to each one of the panelists the option to sign the statement. Signing the declaration they pledged to refuse any funding model that would restrict countries to request an extension of funds. The only person who refused to sign was Ambassador Goosby.
The decision on the new model of Global Fund financing will be held in September at a special meeting to be held within the organization.