In a bid to strengthen and effectively implement the 2013 Ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and Adolescent and youth-friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) services in Eastern and Southern African (ESA), the Technical Coordination Group (TCG) is set to meet in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 17th to 19th May 2017 to discuss progress, challenges and priority areas to meet the Commitment’s 2020 targets.
The Technical Coordinating Group which meets every year under the leadership of UNAIDS and with support from SADC and EAC Secretariats, plays a key role in the management of the ESA Commitment process and the implementation of the accountability mechanism.
An expanded TCG meeting has been proposed to include ESA Commitment Focal Points, and civil society organizations’ (CSO), core TCG group, UN partners and the private sector from all 21 ESA countries to ensure a rich discussion informed, in part, by country experiences and lessons learned.
The 2017 TCG meeting comes at the backdrop of the re-affirmation of the ESA Commitment by Ministers of Health through a call to action tag lined “Let’s Step Up and Deliver” along with the Roadmap 2020 which were adopted during the 2016 AIDS Conference and will see an expansion in the nature of discussions with the inclusion of key stakeholders in the implementation, monitoring and accountability of the commitment.
Also scheduled for discussion will be how countries and Civil Society Organizations can operationalize the roadmap towards the year 2020 targets (2020 Road Map); discuss resource mobilization strategies such as how to advocate for increased domestic resources; ESA Commitment coordination and mechanisms to improve partner engagement; and how to institutionalize CSE and youth-friendly services for in and out of school adolescents and youth.
In 2015, the Eastern and Southern Africa Commitment progress report noted that after two years of implementing the ESA Commitment across 21 countries, significant progress was made in achieve targets set out in the 2013 Commitment. The report also cited relevant work required to improve the quality of comprehensive sexuality education and health services that are delivered to young people, as well as the quality and coverage of training for educators and health service providers.