The Programme Coordinating Board - governing body of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) - concluded its 30th session on 7 June calling for a range of recommendations to strengthen the global HIV response. During the three-day deliberations, the Board received progress reports on issues related to the work of UNAIDS and its Cosponsors.
In his report to the Board, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé underscored the progress made towards the targets of the 2011 Political Declaration on AIDS. The Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections among children and reduce AIDS-related maternal deaths is on track, said Mr Sidibé. UNAIDS and partners are advancing their commitment to empower and protect women and girls, he added.
“Let me be clear: with your continued support, we will end new HIV infections from mother to child by 2015, and we will do all we can to keep women living with HIV alive and healthy,” said Mr Sidibé.
Women and girls
The Board called on Member States to implement programmes that ensure national HIV responses meet the specific needs of women and girls—including those living with and affected by HIV—across their lifespan.
Delegates unanimously welcomed UN Women as the eleventh Cosponsor of UNAIDS. The new partnership with UN Women is expected to further strengthen the UNAIDS family’s work on gender equality and HIV, as well as enhance collaboration with governments, international partners, women’s organizations and the women’s rights movement.
Other key decisions and recommendations
The Board called on Member States to support effective national AIDS responses by intensifying their efforts to create enabling legal frameworks. Countries were requested to review laws and policies that adversely affect the successful, effective and equitable delivery of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes to people living with and affected by HIV.
Recognizing the critical role that civil society organizations play in the HIV response, the Board called on UNAIDS, in collaboration with Member States, to advocate for continued funding for civil society, as well as for enhanced mechanisms for civil society support and accountability within the new funding architecture of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Board members also urged UNAIDS to use its convening role to facilitate more strategic, country-driven and coordinated technical support. They accepted the UNAIDS financial report and audited financial statements for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011.
A thematic segment focused on combination HIV prevention approaches provided an opportunity for delegates to exchange information and perspectives on the latest developments and strategies to prevent the spread of HIV. Outcomes from the session will feed into discussions at the July 2012 International AIDS Conference, to be held in Washington DC.
The Programme Coordinating Board meeting—chaired by Poland, with India as vice-chair and the United States of America as rapporteur—was attended by participants and observers from UN Member States, international organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations. The UNAIDS Executive Director’s report, decisions, recommendations and conclusions from the meeting to the Board can be found at: unaids.org.