Working with the World AIDS Campaign In 2004 the World AIDS Campaign became an independent nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The World AIDS Campaign was previously managed by UNAIDS, and between 1997 and 2004 it concentrated on raising public awareness on specific AIDS-related issues such as the importance of fighting stigma and discrimination and the disproportionate impact of AIDS on women and girls. Under its new NGO governance structure the World AIDS Campaign has been refocused from single issue-based campaigning to an advocacy campaign which seeks to hold governments accountable for the many promises they have made to improve the AIDS response. Today, the World AIDS Campaign is particularly focused on ensuring that governments stick to the commitments they made in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS agreed at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS. This Declaration and other key policy documents allow for pressure groups, AIDS activists and advocacy campaigners to focus on the issues most relevant to them, while at the same time joining together under a common umbrella of activism. The goal of the World AIDS Campaign is to energize and support an effective and sustained response to the AIDS epidemic. By helping partners work together at national, regional and international levels, we will broaden the partnership among those shaping the response to AIDS. Creating increased public awareness of past policy commitments and promises on AIDS, including the Declaration of Commitment will be crucial to their success. The World AIDS Campaign now aims to strengthen the voice of its partners by creating a governance structure that is firmly embedded in civil society. The World AIDS Campaign has the following objectives; it will aim to: Ensure governments and policymakers keep their promises to meet the targets they have agreed in the fight against HIV and AIDS; Foster an alliance of AIDS campaigns, linking local efforts for global impact; Secure the resources necessary for the fight against HIV and AIDS; Broaden and strengthen the role of civil society in the response to HIV and AIDS. What is the governance structure of this independent World AIDS Campaign? A Global Steering Committee oversees and sets the strategic direction of the World AIDS Campaign. The Committee includes civil society members from Brazil, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, and the US. The Global Fund, ICASO and GNP+/ICW (which share a seat) serve as observers, and UNAIDS sits on the committee as a non-voting member. The Global Steering Committee provides guidance and oversight of the World AIDS Campaign International Office which provides administrative, technical and strategic support to the Campaign. What materials are being developed? The World AIDS Campaign will produce and make available a series of tools for partners, the media and the general public. These tools range from traditional World AIDS Campaign awareness raising posters to more advocacy-oriented materials. Some of the tools are created at the International Office in Amsterdam, while others are created in partnership with national associations, international civil society partners or UNAIDS. For instance, the World AIDS Campaign is producing a set of broadcast public service announcements in partnership with the Global Movement for Children. This year's World AIDS Campaign posters were co-produced with UNAIDS. For World AIDS Day, the World AIDS Campaign will seek to work with local governments from around the world. Most of the tools are available in template format ready for translation at national level. Organizations interested in obtaining materials with the intention of translating them locally should contact the International Office. What role does UNAIDS play in the World AIDS Campaign? UNAIDS continues to support the Campaign in many of the same ways it has in the past— through developing and distributing materials and by providing channels for delivering the Campaign at national, regional and global levels. UNAIDS: Will continue its role as lead technical partner on the Campaign, offering strategic information and advice on all issues related to advocacy and campaigning; Serves as an ex-officio member of the Campaign‟s Global Steering Committee; Recognizes that civil society has vast untapped power and resources that can be hugely effective in harnessing the commitment of governments. In many countries, people affected by HIV and AIDS are still excluded from policy setting. If a response to AIDS is going to be comprehensive and ultimately successful, it will have to incorporate the voices and actions of those most in need. The World AIDS Campaign is working to engage more partners, pushing challenging issues, and fostering collaboration on AIDS campaigning and advocacy. It is also improving technical assistance to campaigning organizations by developing campaign materials that can be adapted to suit local settings, providing substantive arguments and positions that bolster the AIDS response, and offering campaigning guidance and support. The WAC also is also actively supporting and building civil society capacity to both advocate and actively participate in a comprehensive, sustainable response to HIV and AIDS. The World AIDS Campaign activities: Communication: the role of the WAC is to inform AIDS-related advocacy campaigns about each other and about key issues, promote the WAC as a social movement, and help raise national and international public awareness about the Campaign and its goals. Connection: the WAC facilitates sharing experiences and lessons learned, enabling national campaigns to link with international-level activity, actions or debates that help strengthen their country-level efforts. Facilitation: the WAC provides a „voice‟ and unified messaging for civil society groups in international debates. It also ensures that the civil society‟s demands are reflected and promoted and raises issues specifically relevant to vulnerable and/or marginalized groups. Catalyst: the WAC acts as a catalyst in initiating or developing national campaigns in the most affected areas. Adaptation: the WAC uses existing tools, networks and platforms to support developing national campaigns and country-specific campaign materials. The WAC will avoid duplicating materials that alreadyt exist and instead will focus on creating new tools. Country-driven: the WAC provides country level analysis and commentary on advocacy and campaigning. The „World AIDS Campaign 2005—2010: “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise” Ending the AIDS epidemic will only be achieved through ensuring that governments and other key players keep the promises and commitments they have made in the fight against HIV and AIDS. That is why the WAC „s theme from 2005—2010 is “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise.” The agreement by by all 189 UN members to support the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS sent a signal from governments that was and still is very urgent to address the devastation caused by HIV and AIDS with leadership, honesty and action. Many countries had already made their own commitments to fight HIV and AIDS, but June 2001 was the first time they gathered to recognize AIDS was a global crisis requiring global action. The Declaration set out specific commitments that leaders would work to fulfill upon their return home, HIV including prevention campaigns, reducing stigma, building health infrastructure, providing necessary resources, and ensuring treatment, care and respect for people living with HIV and AIDS. In many cases, these commitments included specific deadlines that made the Declaration a powerful tool to guide and secure action, support and resources for all those fighting the epidemic, both within and outside government. Lobbying the G8 The Declaration turns again and again to the theme of partnership among all sectors of society. The World AIDS Campaign focuses on that commitment to partnership . One of the first activities of the Campaign was to launch a „Call for Action‟ in 2004 targeted at G8 heads of government. The WAC and its relevant national partners sent each head of a G8 government a joint letter calling for clear plans across the G8 to fullly implement the 2001 Declaration of Commitment. In particular, the Campaign calls on Governments to: Increase—in line with the levels necessary to reach the 2010 targets—the available resources, technical support and capacity for all the key players to fight AIDS, including multilateral organizations and civil society groups; Ensure an integrated approach to HIV and AIDS programmes on prevention, care and treatment; Intensify support for research and development to ensure effective and safe medicines, vaccines, microbicides and other preventive methods are developed and accessible for all people who need them; Commit to the full funding of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to enable it to fullfill its mandate; Budget an overall increase in overseas development assistance aimed at reducing poverty, a key factor in the spread of HIV throughout the world. In turn, the World AIDS Campaign pledges to use its influence to ensure that government actions are matched by others including civil society organizations in order to improve the lives and the options of all people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. Make the Promise The World AIDS Campaign is also encouraging individuals to join the fight against AIDS by making a personal promise to challenge the epidemic. In doing so, participants will make a difference by joining many other citizens worldwide who believe that we must beat HIV and AIDS one promise at a time. When making a promise, participants automatically become a member of an online discussion group and receive many useful advocacy tools that will help make a difference. What's more, with thousands of promises made by caring citizens worldwide, the WAC believes that governments will be under renewed pressure to keep the promises they made in signing the 2001 UN Declaration of Commitment.
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