Statements and Webcast
International Development Law Organization (IDLO)
H.E. Mr. David Patterson, Coordinator, Health Law, Social Development Programmes
10 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
DAVID PATTERSON, Head of Delegation for the International Development Law Organization, said that legal reform to prohibit discrimination was not the only element for enabling a legal environment because the law could not eliminate discrimination without accessible and affordable quality legal services. To provide such services, lawyers needed to understand HIV, and relevant national and international law, as well as client needs. His organization had undertaken an extensive process of professional and community consultation to identify how to improve HIV-related legal services. Its health law programme had started in 2009 with a focus on eight countries; the organization would provide technical and financial support to strengthen HIV-related legal services in 17 countries.
He said his organization had undertaken groundbreaking work on HIV, law and development, including pilot projects to expand HIV-related legal services. In 2009, the organization had hosted the first regional training seminar on HIV law and policy in Asia and the Pacific, and then adapted the course for its online e-learning platform. It also had co-hosted regional consultations on HIV-related legal services and rights with local partners in Latin America, Middle East, North America and sub-Saharan Africa. With UNAIDS and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the organization had developed the publication, “Toolkit: Scaling up HIV-related Legal Services”, over 4,000 copies of which had been distributed in English to Government and civil society partners. Experience had proven that people living with HIV would seek and use quality legal services to address discrimination, and that legal services made a difference. There was renewed political will to act on the commitments of Member States, but the challenge now was to expand legal services and integrate them into national plans and budgets for HIV and Government legal aid programmes.