GENEVA, 15 December 2017—The 41st UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board meeting concluded in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14 December. The Board took note of the report on progress in implementing the UNAIDS Joint Programme Action Plan and the Strategic Resource Mobilization Plan 2018–2021 and called for additional contributions towards fully funding UNAIDS’ core Budget, Results and Accountability Framework.
The Board recognized the significant progress achieved by UNAIDS over the past months as an example of United Nations reform in action. The Board members welcomed the strengthened partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and expressed a shared sense of urgency to Fast-Track resource mobilization to effectively implement programmes.
The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, presented his report to the Board in the opening session, in which he highlighted the significant progress that has been achieved in access to antiretroviral therapy and in stopping new HIV infections among children.
Mr Sidibé also highlighted the need to do more to reach the people being left behind, including young women and adolescent girls, and to address the blind spot in engaging men. He emphasized that stigma, discrimination and criminalization must be confronted head on, as central to achieving UNAIDS’ vision for health and the Sustainable Development Goals. “We will not realize the right to health for all if we do not confront and eliminate stigma and discrimination,” he said. “The Sustainable Development Goals demand that we tackle health and development differently. UNAIDS continues to be a leader on this front.”
The Board noted the reinvigorated commitment to HIV prevention and reaffirmed the need to redouble the commitment to it, including through ensuring a quarter of funding for HIV prevention.
During the final day of the meeting, which was dedicated to a thematic session on discrimination in health-care settings, members of the Board gave their commitment to continue working to end stigma and discrimination. The nongovernmental organization delegation called for a global compact to eliminate all forms of stigma and discrimination.
The members of the Board reflected on the growing HIV and related health and human rights challenges in prisons and other closed settings. They shared examples of action being taken in their respective countries, while acknowledging the need to do more.
Argentina, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana were recognized for their recent financial contributions to UNAIDS, and China, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Sweden were recognized for their increased financial support.
An address made by Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and current Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, recognized the important role that UNAIDS has played in advocating for evidence-informed, human rights-based responses to HIV, including in the context of drug use.
Representatives of United Nations Member States, international organizations, civil society and nongovernmental organizations attended the three-day meeting, held from 12 to 14 December, which was chaired by the Minister of Health of Ghana, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland serving as Vice-Chair and Japan as Rapporteur.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.