The first meeting of the new Steering Committee (SC) of ECOM took place in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 19-21, 2017.
The meeting agenda included development of a common vision of the SC work, discussion of ECOM’s draft strategic plan for 2017-2021, as well as adoption of practical documents necessary for ECOM and its Secretariat. Secretariat staff and strategic planning consultants also participated in the SC meeting as observers.
On February 20, Oleg Eremin from Belarus was elected the Chairperson of the Steering Committee. Oleg has vast experience in HIV prevention including among MSM. He is one of the leading experts in HIV/AIDS in EECA and now heads the Association of HIV-service nongovernmental organizations of Belarus “BelSet Anti-AIDS”. “ECOM is on a new spiral of its development, and the chairperson has an important role in the process oversight,” Oleg said. “Now we really need a working Steering Committee where everyone feels involved regardless of their respective region.”
An important result of the meeting was the discussion of the draft strategic plan that will give a vision of ECOM’s goal to develop in the coming years. After finalizing the comments and suggestions, the draft strategic plan will be sent for discussion and approval by the General Meeting of ECOM.
In addition, SC considered working issues and technical aspects, approved the 2017 annual budget of ECOM and the draft Statute on ECOM’s Secretariat. As ECOM started the regional program “Right to Health” with the support of the Global Fund, the organizational capacity of the principal recipient is an important aspect of the successful program implementation and will be the key to the stability of the entire coalition.
“I am very pleased with the work,” said Igor Medvid, SC member from Ukraine, summing up the results of the three-day work. – The agenda was very full and tight, we discussed many issues, but the main thing is that now ECOM reached a qualitatively higher level, at last it really is a regional organization with many opportunities.”
Sergey Gabrielyan, SC member from Armenia, agreed: “It was exciting to work in one team, to get opinions and thoughts, to apply them to one’s own country. It was especially important that people who gathered here were not afraid to speak out, they openly discussed challenges and shared opinions. People here do not work just to check the box, so it was very interesting for me throughout these three days. “