The Ontario Accord
A statement of solidarity with GIPA/MIPA
“We, people living with HIV/AIDS and allies in the community:
- Commit to the greater involvement and meaningful engagement of people living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA/MIPA); GIPA/MIPA puts PHAs at the centre and is grounded in human rights and the dignity of the full human being
- Aim to transform all who live with, work in, and are affected by, HIV/AIDS in Ontario
- Commit to personal and social transformation
- Value community expertise in embracing the challenge for the betterment of society
- Value inclusion over exclusion, a quest for integrity at all times and the embodiment of self-determination
- Promote the evolution of thought, action and collaboration among us and with our allies
Because GIPA/MIPA is about human struggles and aspirations, ethics, empowerment and accountability are its foundation.”
We acknowledge that Greater involvement of people with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) is never achieved once and for all; it is a goal and commitment that must be continually renewed. GIPA is a practice, not a project, and is similar to all other accountabilities of healthy HIV organizing and service delivery. Our practices in AIDS service organizations (ASOs) must be continually re-evaluated in light of the changing realities of HIV/AIDS and of those living with it.
Within the North American context, GIPA principles have often been considered as only applying to persons living with HIV/AIDS. We affirm that GIPA concerns all who live with, work in, and are affected by, HIV/AIDS. Another way of stating this is that GIPA engages people with HIV/AIDS and their allies in a culture of inclusivity intended to foster an expanding and inclusive approach that embraces HIV Positive individuals in all their diversity and circumstances and includes those affected by HIV/AIDS and all allies. In naming this accord, “The Ontario Accord” we acknowledge the foundational work that continues to inspire us and have continued the precedent of naming our work after its geographic birthplace. We invite citizens of the world to join us in our efforts and organizations globally to affirm their support of the Ontario Accord.
Denver Principles (1983): We condemn attempts to label us as “victims,” a term which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally “patients,” a term which implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. We are “People With AIDS”. …[to People with AIDS]: Be involved at every level of decision-making and specifically serve on the boards of directors of provider organizations.
Montreal Manifesto (1989): … An international code of rights must acknowledge and preserve the humanity of people with HIV disease. This code must include: … active involvement of the affected communities of people with HIV disease in decision-making that may affect them.
Paris Declaration (1994): …Support a greater involvement of people with HIV/AIDS through an initiative to strengthen the capacity and coordination of networks of people with HIV/AIDS and community-based organizations. By ensuring their full involvement in our common response to the pandemic at all – national, regional and global – levels, this initiative will, in particular, stimulate the creation of supportive political, legal and social environments. [This is usually considered to be the fundamental GIPA declaration.]
NGO Code of Good Practice – Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS: We advocate for the meaningful involvement of people with HIV/AIDS and affected communities in all aspects of the HIV response; We foster active and meaningful involvement of people with HIV/AIDS and affected communities in our work. Engaging in GIPA requires conscious attention, without which the daily operational demands of an ASO can seem to be the most important. This conscious attention requires intentionality and accountability that are meaningful and demonstrate that the agency sees beyond service alone. This Living and Serving 3 document, containing a wise practices guide and engagement framework, is intended to help organizations put GIPA principles into practice. You are welcome to download and share the Guidebook.