On UNGA political declaration on HIV/AIDS
On 8 June 2021, the High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS adopted a specialized political declaration.
During the negotiations the Russian delegation, working together with the like-minded colleagues could prevent a number of questionable and contradictory concepts from being included in the final text, such as comprehensive sexuality education, sexual rights, revocation of parental rights to control sexual and reproductive health of children.
Unfortunately, Russian proposals regarding promotion of healthy lifestyles, family values, rejection of unilateral sanctions against the developing countries that are imposed by sidestepping the UNSC and exacerbate the humanitarian situation were turned down. Besides, the topic of drug addiction treatment based on full abstinence was covered too scarcely.
Under the pressure of Western states, the draft document retained numerous references to the need to revise national legislations that curb prostitution and drug use, as well as references to opioid substitution programs as a cure-all solution for countering HIV/AIDS. Besides, the mandate of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS was interpreted extensively, whereby focus was not made on the medical and social component, but rather on controversial human rights concepts that have not been stipulated by any universal intergovernmental formats. Therefore the Russian delegation had to put to vote first separate paragraphs on the mentioned topics, and then the entire draft. However, the document was adopted, and it did not take into account a number of our concerns that directly had to do with the Russian legislation.
At the same time, the political declaration contains a whole range of constructive elements that Russia fully supports. It is the new “95-95-95” targets on HIV/AIDS that address testing, treatment, and viral suppression. It is the goals to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. It is the provisions that call to stop discrimination of HIV-positive individuals. Also, it is the importance of awareness raising campaigns that help counter the disease.
The Russian Federation remains fully committed to fight against HIV/AIDS. We will continue addressing this problem both at the national level – in accordance with the targeted state strategy until 2030 – and internationally, i.a. within project activities. We will further work to promote implementation of global goals in the area of HIV/AIDS, taking into account the provisions of the adopted declaration that meet the Russian approaches.