Statements and Webcast
H.E. Ms. Bernadette Cavanagh, Chargé D'Affaires
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
BERNADETTE CAVANAGH (New Zealand) urged the international community to reinvigorate its collective effort to ensure that the gains of the past decade were not lost, starting with the integration of HIV/AIDS intervention with broader health-care programming, in particular, sexual and reproductive health. Bringing HIV-related programmes into mainstream health systems would help deliver cost-effective outcomes and achievement of the health-related targets of the Millennium Development Goals. Stigma, discrimination and punitive laws and polices undermined efforts to prevent new infections, with at-risk populations, including men who had sex with men, sex workers and injecting-drug users often reluctant to seek help.
She said that protecting and promoting human rights was a prerequisite to a successful response to HIV and AIDS, ensuring that key populations had equitable access to necessary services, including sexual and reproductive health, as well as to life-saving drugs. “We call for an inclusive approach to HIV programming and service delivery, which also encompasses those with disabilities,” she added, also noting that such programming often overlooked the disproportionate impact HIV/AIDS had on women and girls. New Zealand’s own approach had been evidence-based and focused on, among other things, empowering women, decriminalizing sex work, and making it illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation or HIV status. “We urge States that have not done so to reform laws that stand in the way of an effective response,” she said, calling for meaningful and transparent measures to monitor national efforts to address HIV stigma and promote effective responses for higher-risk populations.