The Road to Dignity - our response
05 December 2014
We strongly welcome the UN Secretary-General’s report as a valuable contribution to the post-2015 negotiations. The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet was published yesterday and makes an explicit mention to achieving a future free of AIDS, and laws that protect LGBT people.
In 2015, sustainable development goals (SDGs) will replace the millennium development goals (MDGs). The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, calls for investing in the unfinished business of the MDGs and for the new SDG framework to be applied universally while taking into account different national contexts.
The six pillars proposed by Ki-moon are people, dignity, prosperity, planet, justice and partnership.
Within the people pillar, we echo Ki-moon’s recognition that no society can reach its full potential if whole segments of that society are excluded. The report broadly builds on the work of the Open Working Group, of which we have been a part of, in calling for universal health coverage; ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths; realising women’s reproductive health and rights; and realising a future free of AIDS.
The report however leaves out sexual rights and gender identity. We call on UN Member States to redress these omissions to ensure that all health-related targets are designed to reach excluded groups and protect their rights.
Under the justice pillar, there is a call for laws to create an enabling environment that ensure the meaningful engagement of civil society and minorities, including LGBT people.
While we strongly welcome this, we call on the UN Member States to go further and work towards targets that include the removal of punitive laws which criminalise LGBT people and promote the adoption of protective laws for the most vulnerable and marginalised groups.
Lack of justice hinders the HIV response
Discrimination and exclusion based on sexual orientation, HIV status, age and gender still pose major barriers for people to have equitable access to quality health services and realise their human rights.
Still too often, marginalised populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs and transgender persons face criminalisation and violence across the world. As a result, men who have sex with men, for example, are nineteen times more likely to contract HIV than other men, and transgender people are up to 49 times more likely to be HIV positive than the general population.
We share the Secretary-General’s view that no goal or target should be considered met unless it is met for all social and economic groups. We therefore strongly welcome his call for specific targets to be set for disadvantaged groups and for data disaggregation across all goals and targets, in order to better address inequalities in all areas and ensure stronger accountability systems.
Taking note that the vast majority of the poor and of people living with HIV now live in middle-income countries, we commend the recommendation for the need to work on developing alternative measures of progress, beyond the income classification of a country, focusing notably on human wellbeing, justice, equality and equity.
Quoting Ki-moon, we truly believe the post-2015 agenda constitutes an “historic opportunity and duty to act, to turn reality into a life of dignity for all, leaving no one behind”. We believe we will not achieve the end of AIDS and a healthier world if we do not end inequality.