Opening Remarks for Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator Consultative Workshop on Social Organizations and HIV Legal Aid Provision Model

12 Jan 2012

Opening Remarks for Rebeca Grynspan, 
UNDP Associate Administrator

Consultative Workshop on
Social Organizations and HIV Legal Aid Provision Model

Kunming,
12 December 2012

Mdm Li Xinyue, 
Distinguished guests, friends, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It is my pleasure to join you here today at the Consultative Workshop on Social Organizations and HIV Legal Aid Provision Model. I wish to extend my appreciation to the Yunnan Health Bureau (TBC) and Daytop for convening this workshop with the purpose of providing better legal services for vulnerable people particularly people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and their families.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all partners in government and social organisations, who are present here today, for your dedicated efforts in promoting access to justice and rights protection for vulnerable people.

Over the last decade, impressive progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Since 2001, global rates of new HIV infections have decreased by 17 per cent. There have also been advances in tackling stigma and discrimination. Many leaders including in China have spoken openly about HIV, what drives its spread, and how to combat it. On 1 December, the 2012 World Aids Day, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang commited his support to the fight against HIV and called on the government and civil society to work together in overcoming social challenges related to people living with HIV/AIDS. In the last two years, UNDP convened the Global Commission on HIV and the Law which consulted with China and 58 countries to examine the relationship between legal responses, rights protection and HIV. The recently launched report highlighted the importance of enabling legal environments in contributing to reducing inequalities while strengthening effective HIV responses. And in doing so, achieve better health and development outcomes for all citizens. 

In China, much progress has been made since the introduction of the HIV regulation in 2005. It has been recognised however, that for any law to be implemented well and work for people, it requires effective engagement and learning of how the law impacts on vulnerable and affected communities. Daytop’s report is an example of a social organisation providing HIV legal aid to affected communities.  Their experience has shown that for HIV regulations to be implemented effectively, they will need the expertise and involvement of partners, not only in the public health sectors but also in the judiciary and civil affairs agencies.

I am therefore delighted to see representatives from the Yunnan Bureaus of Health, Justice and Civil Affairs present here today at this workshop. I warmly encourage active and productive exchanges among the participants. Your perspectives will be invaluable to identify constructive, practical solutions which help to marshal the law to be a positive force for scaling up effective HIV responses.

I wish the workshop much success. Thank you.