The European Development Days (EDDs) provide a timely and focused interface for stakeholders and governments to address global challenges in an open and often informal atmosphere.
The Alliance were represented by Robinson Cabello, Executive Director of Via Libre in Peru, and Marcela Romero, President of RedLacTrans accompanied by Arben Fetai from Stop AIDS Alliance in Brussels and Karine Gatellier from the Alliance’s Latin America and the Caribbean team.
Marcela co-facilitated an informal cafe session with MEP Michael Cashman during the Health Heroes Champions League on “It’s not fair. Making Health a Reality for All” organised by Action for Global Health. She presented some of the issues regarding trans women and the work of RedLacTrans in general. She commented that “The fact that I could make our group visible in this event is a huge success for us”. Robinson was a key speaker at the “Making Global Health Deliver: Right to Health, Right Now!” organised by UNAIDS and UNFPA.
Most of the panellists were high level government officials and UN representatives. As there were very few representatives from civil society, Marcela and Robinson’s presence at the event helped make issues for key populations visible and profile the work of the Alliance, especially in the context of Latin America, a region which didn’t get much visibility in the EDDs – which strongly focused on Africa.
Health NGOs (including the Alliance notably through Action for Global Health) and UN agencies (UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO etc) did excellent work in profiling health strongly on the agenda of the EDDs. Although the debates were very much focused on new paradigms of EU development cooperation (support for economic growth, infrastructure, energy, review of budget support etc) health NGOs and agencies managed to fit their messages quite well in those broader debates, making a clear point, jointly, that the EU has a very important role to play in supporting universal access to healthcare as a question of equity, particularly with key populations. The coordination of health stakeholders has been excellent throughout the EDDs.
Most of the sessions on health topics focused on health systems strengthening and maternal and child health, among other issues. HIV and AIDS, LGBT rights or Key Populations were addressed to a much lesser extent.
The EDDs will help guide country work with the EU in Latin America and the Caribbean. Robinson commented that “The EDDs have enabled me to get a better understanding of Europe’s current priorities in terms of development, and to be aware of the current thinking on cooperation. It is useful to know governments and donor priorities when applying for funds. I prefer to know that the situation is going to be difficult”.
Robinson also spoke at the European Parliament hearing on HIV and Human Rights on 30 November.
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