Approximately 100 participants from across Asia and the Pacific met in Bangkok from 28 September to 2 October to take part in the third UNAIDS Asia Pacific M&E meeting. Participants were invited to discuss preparations for the upcoming UNGASS on HIV as well as how to strengthen M&E among key affected populations, including injecting drug users.
UNAIDS informed participants that the UNGASS process is coming to a close in 2010 and it is unlikely at this time that a high level meeting will be held to close this international mechanism. Indeed, UNAIDS is working to subsume UNGASS processes under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In and of itself, this fusion will create some challenges in terms of harmonizing country reporting - where UNGASS country reports rely on approximately 25 national level indicators, the MDG relies on less than 10. Despite the challenges ahead, country reporting will be starting soon and, in Asia and the Pacific, APCASO will provide leadership on involvement of civil society.
In terms of strengthening M&E among key populations, discussions revealed that issues remain to be addressed in harmonizing frameworks, definitions and standard service packages as well as operationalizing these into effective action. Dr. Mukta Sharma (HAARP), Mr. Dean Lewis (Sharan/ANPUD), and Ms. Anne Bergenstrom (UNRTF) delivered presentations that highlighted those challenges and Ms. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh (ISDS) and Mr. Pascal Tanguay (AHRN) facilitated a discussion on strategies for improvement.