20th International AIDS Conference - Melbourne, Australia

TUSY01 Beyond 2014: Youth Leadership in the AIDS Response
  Symposia Session
Venue: Plenary 1
Time: 22.07.2014, 11:00 - 12:30
Co-Chairs: Anders Nordstrom, Sweden
Alischa Ross, Australia

AIDS 2014 is the first International AIDS Conference in history to emphasize moving towards the end of AIDS and an HIV free generation. We recognize that we cannot achieve these goals without implementing policy and developing peer-based programmes that put young people’s leadership at the centre of local, national and international responses to HIV and AIDS. The development of Youth and UNAIDS: A Pact for Social Transformation, demonstrates that radical new approaches to strengthen collective action through adult-youth multi-sectorial partnerships are taking place. In a time when over 5.4 million (UNAIDS) young people are living with HIV, this panel of globally recognized young leaders, politicians and key UN representatives will discuss tangible, realistic and time bound actions that can provide a way forward for the world’s largest generation of young people to shape the future they want in the global AIDS response and the role of youth leadership beyond 2014.
A. Nordstrom, Sweden

Handing over the Melbourne Youth Force Action Plan: the world we want beyond 2014 and the road to Durban
J. Gray, Australia
M. Iacono, Argentina
N. Malope, South Africa
H. Piplani, India
N. Kumar, UNFPA
A. Herten, Australia
M. Payne, Australia

Translating the PACT into action and innovative funding mechanisms
M. Sidibe, UNAIDS
M. Dybul, Switzerland

Moving forward: youth leadership in the post-2015 development framework
L. John, Australia

Human rights and HIV: the future of young PLHIV and key populations in the AIDS response
S. Tamang, Thailand
M. Ighodaro, United States

Beyond 2014: children, young women and HIV
V. Banda, Malawi
A. Oktariani, Indonesia


Closing remarks

Rapporteur report

Youth report by Gareth Durrant

This symposium began with the message to ‘Treat, Reform, Educate and Love’ and the handing over the Melbourne Youth Force Action Plan: the world we want beyond 2014 and the road to Durban. It highlighted that young people’s leadership in the local, national and international AIDS response is critical, but when it comes to how, we don’t always agree.

This was lively forum including much jostling between donors and youth advocates (including those representing young key populations) as well as lively debate between activists and politicians. It was a testimony to how dialogue and debate is necessary and can be both productive and positive. 

A representative from UNAIDS explained the importance of young people transitioning from bring passive recipients of programs to leaders and drivers of them. He called on everyone to “roll up their sleeves” in the post 2015 agenda. A representative from Global Fund also gave an emphatic plea for young people to mobilise, galvanise and rally on a local level, and to realise the power of youth advocacy.

In response, members of the Melbourne Youth Force called for a ‘seat at the table’ and end to tokenistic participation mechanisms. Young people in this session demonstrated that many are already standing up as eloquent, informed young leaders who have made a contribution to ending the epidemic. This was echoed by the second youth panel which saw advocates from key populations voicing concerns at being silenced within the mainstream response, and about a lack of understanding of their needs, particularly the needs of young men who have sex with men (MSM) and young transgender women. Finally they called on access for more spaces that will allow them to move forward and enact the change that their communities need and want.


    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.