NEW YORK, 13 June 2016 – The “Fast-Track Cities Ending AIDS Epidemic” side meeting was conducted on 6-7 June at the New York City Public Library as one of the high level side events leading to the UN High Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS. This Fast-Track Cities Initiative event was opened by Mr. Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, together with the Deputy Mayor of Paris Mr. Patrick Krugman, UNAIDS Executive Director Michele Sidibe, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Annie Lennox and other high-ranking officials from international organisations.

Mayors and representatives of cities who committed to the realisation of the objectives of the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities Ending the AIDS Epidemic signed in 1 Dec 2014 participated in this event. This side event was also attended by Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee. “ASEAN is forging towards an inclusive, sustainable, resilient, participative, socially-responsible and healthy community. The ASEAN Cities Getting to Zeros Project is a testament to a collective community effort by the peoples of ASEAN in supporting the global community in ending AIDS,” said DSG Vongthep.

DSG Vongthep presented an intervention that highlighted the contribution of ASEAN in ending AIDS by 2030 through the progress of the ASEAN Cities Getting to Zeros Project that started in 2012. Initially, there were 13 cities or areas in the project that underwent localised assessment and planning phases that resulted into evidence-based interventions in getting to zeros adapted at the community level and was participated in by the local communities. The project has since then expanded to more than 50 areas amongst the participating ASEAN Member States.

Further, he underscored that through ASEAN 2025 and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Pillar, the ASEAN Community is contributing to meeting the global target of ending the AIDS epidemic as indicated in the Sustainable Development Goals. The initiatives highlighted the progress made through the ASEAN Cities Getting to Zeros Project that operationalizes the commitments made by ASEAN Leaders in 2011 on the ASEAN Declaration of Commitment:  Getting to Zero New HIV Infections, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths, and Zero Discrimination. The active involvement of ASEAN Member States though the ASEAN Task Force on AIDS (ATFOA) and other stakeholders in ASEAN Cities Getting to Zeros implementation and roll-out were highlighted.

The mayors and their representatives, representatives of international organisations, UN agencies and other partners, and other relevant stakeholders presented updates regarding their progress in achieving the targets of 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV Status; 90% of people who know their HIV status on treatment; and 90% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads.

The cities of Bangkok, Jakarta, Quezon City and Ho Chi Minh are included in this Fast-Track Cities. Their respective local chief executives presented updates of their city- initiatives in supporting the realisation of the objectives of ending AIDS epidemic in cities by 2030 that focus on people who are vulnerable and marginalised; and, leaving no one behind, and building and accelerating appropriate responses to the local needs.

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