IAPAC (April 4, 2022) – Mayors from across Europe signed a Fast-Track Cities Mayors’ Declaration of Support for Ukrainian People Affected by HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis. As of today, 31 Mayors have signed the Mayors’ Declaration, expressing their solidarity with Ukraine’s four Fast-Track Cities and the people of Ukraine. The Mayors’ Declaration cites among other concerns the significant disruptions in HIV and other essential health services caused by the war in Ukraine, which also affect a growing number of refugees.

In announcing the release of the Mayors’ Declaration, Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of IAPAC and the Fast-Track Cities Institute, said that he “[applauds] the European Fast-Track Cities Mayors who signed the Mayors’ Declaration of Support for Ukrainian People Affected by HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis for taking a stance and expressing their solidarity with the Ukrainian people during this humanitarian, among them people living with and affected by HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis.”

Following is the Mayors’ Declaration of Support for Ukrainian People Affected by HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis released March 31, 2022:

Fast-Track Cities Europe Mayors Declaration of Support for

Ukrainian People Affected by HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis

We, the undersigned Mayors of Fast-Track Cities from across Europe, stand in solidarity with communities in our peer Fast-Track Cities in Ukraine, and indeed all people of Ukraine, who are valiantly enduring the unprovoked war besieging their country. We further condemn the violence the Russian Federation is inflicting upon the Ukrainian people, which runs afoul of our shared commitment to the rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, notably that “everyone has a right to life, liberty, and security of person,” as well as “to a standard of living adequate for [their] health and well-being.”

We express our grave concern about the well-being of Ukrainian people affected by HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis. We note that our peer Mayors in the four Ukrainian Fast-Track Cities – Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, and Odessa – are fellow signatories of the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities. By joining the Fast-Track Cities network, our respective cities and more than 380 other cities worldwide agree to support the uninterrupted provision of a continuum of testing, prevention, treatment, and social support services for HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis available to our communities.

We understand that every day in which Ukrainian people cannot access health and social services presents an imminent threat of severe health consequences. For example, HIV service disruptions for an estimated 156,000 people living with HIV who are on life-saving treatment may lead to unnecessary disease progression and, possibly, reduced life expectancy. Furthermore, key populations, such as members of the LGBTQ+ community, people who use drugs, and other marginalized groups, face unique hardships in conflict situations because of underlying vulnerabilities. These communities already face significant barriers to accessing medical and psychosocial care and harm reduction services, and the crisis in Ukraine will place these life-saving interventions out of reach with deleterious public health outcomes at individual, community, and population levels.

We acknowledge that as Fast-Track Cities we agree to collectively ensure people affected by HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis enjoy full participation in society – free from violence or persecution – and promise to “galvanize global support for healthy and resilient societies.” The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has defined an unprecedented need for global solidarity, both for those who remain in the country and for millions of Ukrainians who are seeking refuge abroad. This need includes the provision of medical and social services to a growing number of refugees, among them people at risk for and those living with HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis.

We, the signatories to the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities, embrace its call for Mayors to “unite as leaders” and work together – across borders, languages, cultures, and creeds – to realize the rights of all people to life, health, and dignity, as enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In times of crises, we do not suspend these commitments, but rather reaffirm them with urgency and purpose. For decades, we have been humbled and inspired by the resiliency of people affected by HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis, and we know that Ukrainian people affected by these conditions will need that resiliency today more than ever.

We are united in solidarity with Ukraine and its four Fast-Track Cities. Moreover, we commend countries and Fast-Track Cities providing refuge to displaced Ukrainians, including those affected by HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis. We hereto pledge our commitment to transform this declaration of support into concrete actions on behalf of our respective Fast-Track Cities and in the spirit of solidarity.

Signatories (updated April 15, 2022):

Honorable Natalia de Andrés, Mayor, City of Alcorcón, Spain

Honorable Carla Tavares, Mayor, City of Amadora, Portugal

Honorable Femke Halsema, Mayor, City of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Honorable Valeria Mancinelli, Mayor, City of Ancona, Italy

Honorable Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor, City of Athens, Greece

Honorable Giorgio Gori, Mayor, City of Bergamo, Italy

Honorable Franziska Giffey, Mayor, City of Berlin, Germany

Honorable Emilio Del Bono, Mayor, City of Brescia, Italy

Honorable Marvin Rees, Mayor, City of Bristol, United Kingdom

Honorable Rod McKerlich, Lord Mayor, City of Cardiff, United Kingdom

Honorable Alison Gilliland, Lord Mayor, City of Dublin, Ireland

Honorable Damiano Coletta, Mayor, City of Latina, Italy

Honorable Daniel Butler, Mayor, City of Limerick, Ireland

Honorable Carlos Moedas, Mayor, City of Lisbon, Portugal

Honorable Sadiq Khan, Mayor, City of London, United Kingdom

Honorable Grégory Doucet, Mayor, City of Lyon, France

Honorable Pedro Ramos, Regional Secretary of Health and Civil Protection, Regional Government of Madeira, Portugal

Honorable Andy Burnham, Mayor, City of Manchester, United Kingdom

Honorable Benoît Payan, Mayor, City of Marseille, France

Honorable Gian Carlo Muzzarelli, Mayor, City of Modena, Italy

Honorable Christian Estrosi, Mayor, City of Nice, France

Honorable Isaltino Morais, Mayor, City of Oeiras, Portugal

Honorable Anne Hidalgo, Mayor, City of Paris, France

Honorable Ivan Vuković, Mayor, City of Podgorica, Montenegro

Honorable Rui Moreira, Mayor, City of Porto, Portugal

Honorable Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor, City of Prague, Czech Republic

Honorable Antonio Muñoz Martínez, Mayor, City of Sevilla, Spain

Honorable Abel Caballero, Mayor, City of Vigo, Spain

Extra-Jurisdictional Signatories (as of April 15, 2022):

Honorable Lettie McCarthy, Mayor, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Ireland

Honorable Seána Ó Rodaigh, Mayor, Fingal, Dublin County, Ireland

Honorable Peter Kavanagh, Mayor, South Dublin County Council, Ireland

Honorable Lamberto Bertolè, Deputy Mayor, Welfare and Health, City of Milan, Italy