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Indonesia to push for social inclusiveness as a global development goal

<p>Feature Story</p>

October 24, 2012

Countries pledged to reach eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015, including reversing the AIDS epidemic. Much progress has been made in reaching these goals. However, there is recognition that the world will still need to focus on this goals beyond 2015. Therefore, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Indonesia, along with the United Kingdom and Liberia to co-chair a High-Level panel tasked with setting future development priorities beyond 2015.

Indonesia’s Head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight and advisor to Indonesia’s President on the  post 2015 development agenda, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto committed to not only maintaining but expanding key global development goals during a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé in Jakarta on Wednesday.

“I would like to congratulate Indonesia for leading the work to develop the post 2015 development agenda,” said Mr Sidibé. “This shows trust in Indonesia, not only as a country that is influencing the agenda in Asia but in the world. This exercise is a unique opportunity to really bring the debate around creating an inclusive society and redistribution of opportunity to the world table.

Mr Kuntoro agreed that the current MDGs had greatly contributed to the world’s development. “We are not going to close the MDG chapter and open a new book. We think MDGs are good and we need to maintain them, but we also want new social issues like social inclusiveness to be addressed,” said Mr Kuntoro.

Dialogue with civil society

After meeting with the President’s advisor, Mr Sidibé had a dialogue with civil society organizations representing people living with HIV and key affected populations in Indonesia.  The discussion, moderated by Professor Irwanto and held at the AIDS research centre of the Atma Jaya University in Jakarta, reviewed current HIV policies and their implementation, as well as to hear the concerns of civil society on how HIV should be addressed in the post 2015 development agenda.

Professor Irwanto reminded the gathering about the important role played by civil society in the AIDS response. “The problem is that, right now, we feel that civil society is getting less and less attention. We hope that the role of civil society is not only maintained but strengthened because the achievements so far could not have been reached without civil society,” said Professor Irwanto.

Civil society participants discussed a wide variety of concerns including ensuring that civil society is given the opportunity to contribute to the development of national guidelines on HIV, the need to ensure antiretroviral therapy is made accessible to everyone needing treatment and how to support women living and affected by HIV.

“Many of you have been helping us to frame the HIV response in a different way. You have changed the dynamic of social mobilization,” said Mr Sidibé. “Let us work together. I am asking you to help us to ensure that AIDS remains high on the development agenda. Let us not miss the opportunity to bring to shape the debate on the post 2015 development agenda,” he added.

Indonesia spearheaded a movement among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to reach the global vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths through the ASEAN Cities Getting to Zero initiative. The move is part of an effort to strengthen collaboration between countries in the region to control the epidemic. Jakarta was chosen as one of three Indonesian cities participating in the programme.

Mr Sidibé visited Jakarta’s model community health centre, located in the city’s Tambora district, which is participating in the ASEAN Cities Getting to Zero project. The centre provides comprehensive HIV services, including voluntary counselling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, HIV treatment care and support, as well as methadone treatment for people who use drugs.