Six-monthly progress report on responsibilities as Global Fund Board Member for the Latin American and the Caribbean constituency: July 2018

July 10th, 2018

Honourable Minister,

It is my honour to address you on the occasion of presenting the progress report on the key actions undertaken during my managerial responsibilities as Global Fund Board Member for the Latin American and Caribbean constituency for the period 2017 -2019.

Beyond my duties as Board member, I have worked actively as an elected Ethic and Governance Committee (ECG) member for the period 2016-2018. During the past semester I attended my last meeting, the sixth EGC meeting on March 13-15, in Geneva, Switzerland; in addition to teleconferencing before this meeting. Mainly the EGC allocated time to the Committee Membership Selection Process, in particular, the EGC reviewed and discussed profiles and documentation of candidates for all three committees to assess competencies according to Board and Committee Operating Procedure. Other relevant inputs and substantial contributions were made on key deliverables of the ECG Work Plan 2016-2018 with special emphasis in the areas of Board Constituency Dispute Resolution, Strengthening Board Leadership Selection Process, Progress update on CCM Evolution, Board Size and Composition, Ethics Function Oversight, Strategic Priorities and 2018 Planning. I am pleased to announce that Guillermo A. Birmingham, LAC Constituency candidate, was recently nominated as an elected Audit and Finance Committee (AFC) member for the period 2018-2020, and he will be participating in the next AFC meeting on July 17-19. I would like to emphasize that Guillermo A. Birmingham, CPA/CGMA, has over 35 years of experience in all aspects of financial management, taxes, accounting within the private sector, nonprofits, governments and United Nations organizations. In addition, I have been working as a member of WHO Strategic advisory group (SAGeM) on malaria eradication for the period 2016-2018 and Board member in the Roll Back Malaria Initiative for the period 2017-2020, while continuing as a member of UNITAID Director’s Strategic Advisory Group. In these groups, I have the responsibility of contributing with the individual and collective experiences of disease elimination from the LAC Region, while I keep reminding all parties about the need of protecting the countries achievements, particularly in UMICs and LMICs in the response to the three diseases.

As a member of the recently created WHO/MEOC (Malaria elimination Oversight Committee), I have also participated in the second annual Global Forum of malaria-eliminating countries held in San José, Costa Rica, from 11–13 June, the global forum provided a platform for 21 malaria-eliminating countries from the WHO E-2020 initiative to share progress in working towards malaria elimination. Within the Forum, technical experts from the 21 countries highlighted the elimination advances and challenges since the inaugural global forum in March 2017. On day one of the forum, Paraguay was officially certified free of malaria. It is relevant to highlight that Paraguay was the first among the E-2020 countries to attain elimination status. Dr Carlos Ignacio Morínigo, Minister of Health of Paraguay, accepted the certification on behalf of his government at a ceremony in honour of the country’s achievement. Let us all rejoice and congratulate Paraguay on this historic achievement. Very good progress is being shown by El Salvador, Belize and Costa Rica as other countries in the Region were enthusiastically galvanized to follow suit and benefitted from the peer exchange with other countries in the world on the same commitment. Argentina is preparing the documentation to request the certification assessment mission this year.

Concerning the methods of work for LA Representation, I would like to recognize the ongoing support received from the Ministry of Health in Argentina, both in the provision of staff, infrastructure and equipment, as well as the full backing of the local working group formed by the STD/AIDS, TB, Viral Hepatitis and Leprosy Director and President of the Technical Cooperation Horizontal Group (TCHG), the Communication Team of the STD/AIDS Directorate from the Ministry of Health in Argentina and Latin America Communication Focal point for the GF / Technical Secretary for TCHG. The Latin American local support group for the Board Member continues functioning with additional members from NGO Networks, Civil Society, and technical partners such as PAHO/WHO and UNAIDS. The Caribbean subgroup continues to be supported through the PANCAP/CARICOM platform and there is a fluid and constant communication and consultation among the two sets of countries.

PANCAP/CARICOM is also the very capable administrator of the funds received to support the LAC operations and PAHO /WHO provides administrative support to the Latin America representative for the operation and maintenance of a communication platform in Spanish to ensure a continuous flow of information within the Constituency and with other stakeholders in the Latin America sub-region, as well as to provide the technical expertise in analyzing and compiling policy and strategy documents and comments from all stakeholders including PAHO, UNAIDS, CCMs and RCMs, and presenting and /or negotiating the regional position at the Board level.

With reference to the LAC Constituency outreach efforts, I would like to mention the availability of Board Member six-month reports; the regular briefings to Permanent Missions of LAC Member states based in Geneva; and regular meetings with LAC Regional Manager and country teams responsible for country and regional grants in order to improve relationships between GF Secretariat and LAC countries.

Previous to the Thirty-Ninth Board meeting, LAC constituency raised concerns about due process in the selection and voting procedures of GF Standing Committees, among key issues were ethical questions on two proposed members, geographical and gender balance; and no CSO in the EGC. In light of pending ethical reviews, which might have an impact on the final composition of the committees, LAC constituency recommended a postponement of this Decision Point to be addressed during the Board meeting with all parties duly accessing the same information.

In the last three Global Fund Board meetings, Venezuela’s crisis was discussed and LAC Constituency contributed with technical and managerial presence and a strong voice at Board level, in advance of the Board Meeting LAC Constituency in collaboration with PAHO contribute to the development of a dossier to highlight the crucial need to jointly overcome this extremely worrying situation.

With regards to pre- Board meetings, the Implementers Group and the LAC Delegation held preparatory meetings on May 7 and 8, respectively in Skopje, Macedonia, in order to review key issues and agree on common positions about the Eligibility Policy, Risk Appetite Framework, Global Fund approach to Non-eligible countries in crisis, Update on Health Situation in Venezuela and other agenda items of shared interest.

Finally, the LAC delegation attending the Thirty-Ninth Board Meeting on May 9-10, 2018, in Skopje, Macedonia, was headed by myself as Board Member; Dr Laure Adrien, Acting AB Member, with an ad-interim delegation of authority from Hon. Dr Marie Gréta Roy Clément, due to her impossibility to attend the meeting; Mr. Javier Luis Hourcade Bellocq, Acting CFP, delegated authority, Alternate LA CSO Member, ARG; Mr. Edner Boucicaut (Haiti), Caribbean CSO Member; Mr. Yoire Ferrer Savigne (Cuba), Substitute Alternate Latin America CSO Member; Dr. Aurelio Nuñez (Panama), RCM EMMIE Chair; Dr. Sergio Maulen Technical Cooperation Horizontal Group (TCHG) Chair (Argentina) and Ms. M. Joan Didier (Saint Lucia), OECS RCM Representative.

The Board most relevant decision of particular importance for LAC was the unanimous approval of the Potential Engagement with Non-eligible Countries in Crisis. The LAC delegation had an active role and strong voice on the proposed final versions for Board approval. This decision could result in concrete investment to help alleviate the HIV, TB and malaria crisis in Venezuela, among other countries. The Communities of people living with HIV and affected by TB and malaria, NGOs from developing countries, NGOs from developed countries, and Latin America and the Caribbean Delegations prepared jointly a Communique about the Role of the Global Fund in Non-Eligible Countries in Crisis, in order to share information about the Board’s decision and provide additional clarifications on its scope that are relevant for communities, policy-makers and implementers.

Other relevant decisions were: a) Approval of the Revised Eligibility Policy; b) Appointment of the Members of the Standing Committees of the Board; c) Strengthening the Processes for Selection of Committee Leadership and Committee Members; d) 2017Annual Financial Report; e) 2017 Statutory Financial Statements; f) CCM Evolution: Code of Conduct for CCMs and CCM Policy; g) CCM Evolution: Funding for Near-Term Implementation; h) Approval of Risk Appetite Framework; i) Strengthening the Board Leadership Selection Process.

Additionally, during the Board Meeting, LAC Constituency Board Member and Technical Cooperation Horizontal Group representative met STOP TB representative to find a timely and prompt solution to the Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) treatment procurement process for Argentina. I would like to express our gratitude for the support provided by STOP TB Director as well as our deep appreciation for their commitment to saving lives.

Following the Board Meeting, Developing Country NGO and Communities Delegations expressed their appreciation for LAC delegation’s hard work, BM active leadership role and willingness to forge a strong alliance in order to advance in common goals at the last Board Meeting, especially in the discussions around Committees Membership Selection process and non-eligible countries in crisis including the Venezuela Situation analysis.

I will continue my duties as Board Member in collaboration with Hon. Dr Marie Gréta Roy Clément as Alternate Board Member and with the LAC Constituency members, in order to provide regular progress updates of the achievements within the Region. We have requested PAHO Director, Dr Carissa Etienne to allocate time during the coming Directing Council (late September 2018) for a side meeting to report on the LAC representation to the Global Fund.

Photograph of LAC delegation is attached. The monthly newsletter in Spanish is being published and you can subscribe to it as well as visit the website, and/or use communication channel through Facebook and Twitter at @FondoLac.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any enquiry or further information; I am opened to your guidance, proposals, suggestions for improvement and consultations through my personal e-mail and at the institutional e-mail

Dr Mirta Roses Periago
Global Fund Board Member
Latin America and the Caribbean Representation