Spanish Speaking Latin America "Eliminated" by New Global Fund.

Richard Stern, Director
Agua Buena Human Rights Association


The composition of the "Transitional Working Group" designed to implement initial policy for the new billion dollar Global AIDS Fund has been released.

Although the list of members includes 43 individuals representing 28 countries and a number of International Non-governmental Organizations and private corporations, the Working Group does not include a single representative from Spanish speaking Latin America. Brazil is, in fact, included, but Brazil is Portuguese speaking and, in spite of its recognized success in dealing with the AIDS epidemic, faces very different problems and realities than those faced by its Spanish speaking neighbors including Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela and more than 15 other Latin American countries.

"Cultural, social, and economic forces affecting the epidemic differ greatly from one part of the world to another and it would seem to be impossible to develop priorities for effective utilization of funding in a given region if it is not accurately represented," said Costa Rican AIDS activist Guillermo Murillo. "I am sorry to see that the grass roots activist community also seems to have little representation in this group. It seems like this "Working Group" should issue a public clarification regarding its composition, as well as its goals and priorities and the methodology it is employing, since, presumably, the decisions which come out of this group will have an enormous impact on funding allocation over the next few years," he added.

The Working Group held its first meeting in Brussels, Belgium last Thursday and Friday, October 11th and 12th.

The combined population of Latin American countries not represented is over 100 million people which includes over a million people living with HIV/AIDS, the majority of whom do not have access to anti-retroviral medications. (In Brazil nearly 100 percent of the population receives Anti-retrovirals.)

Trinidad and Tobago, from the English speaking Caribbean region, has two representatives on the Transitional Group.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan announced the creation of the Global Fund during the special United Nations General Assembly on AIDS in June and asked that 10 billion dollars be pledged for its implementation.

Below is a summary of the composition of the Transitional Working Group.

EUROPE:

Belgium
Denmark
France
Germany
Ireland
Italy
Netherlands
Norway
Russia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom

THE AMERICAS:

Brazil
Canada
Trinidad and Tobago
USA

ASIA:

China
India
Japan
Thailand

AFRICA:

Mali
Mozambique
Nigeria
Senegal
South Africa
Uganda

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

European Union Presidency
European Commission
UNDG
UNAIDS
WHO
World Bank

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Global Network of People Living with AIDS
International Union Against Tuberculosis
The AIDS Support Organization
International Council of AIDS Service Organizations

PRIVATE SECTOR

Global Issues World Economic Forum
Gates Foundation
GAVI
Global Fund For Children's Vaccines
Coca Cola

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Agua Buena Human Rights Association
San Josť, Costa Rica
Tel/Fax 506-234-2411
rastern@sol.racsa.co.cr
www.aguabuena.org


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