The media is getting part of the story from the UN HIV/AIDS meetings, and as much as this blog has been active in holding the US accountable for those members of its delegation that hold narrow ideological perspectives, the US alone is not solely responsible for the current state of negotiations.
Gabon, the current chair of the African Group is chairing a bloc of nations, but apparently in name only. In fact, there is an official African Union position that supports more aggressive positions that Gabon is ignoring. Nigeria deserves creidt for breaking from the pack and asserting that this is the moment the global community must hold one another accountable. The real pressure on the African Group is coming from Egypt, Yemen and Syria, none of whom are members of the African Group.
Why do these internal politics matter? At the UN, its all internal politics and diplomacy, to start with, but far more importantly is that, as a continent, Africa has clearly been hardest hit by AIDS and the issues of poverty that exacerbate the pandemic there. As a result, if any part of the world should be interested in making sure that the entire world is held accountable with global targets, measurable outcomes, financial commitments and human rights language that protects women and girls – it should be Africa. No, the US alone is not responsible for the current stalemate in the negotiations, but US leadership could break the logjam, if only certain ideological forces within the delegation would stop using Syria and the Organization of Islamic Countries as its front men.