27 Jun 2018

Civil Society Sneak Peek: What is Happening this Week at the 42nd Meeting of the UNAIDS PCB?

The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) is holding its 42nd meeting this week from 26 – 28 June 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. The PCB is responsible for setting the mission and direction of the UN’s global HIV response — as implemented by the UNAIDS Secretariat and 11 UN Cosponsoring organizations — and for monitoring the budget, activities, and outcomes. The PCB is unique in the UN system for its inclusion of civil society as board members. Ten civil society organizations share 5 seats on the PCB and serve alongside 22 UN Member States and the 11 Cosponsor organizations.

What should people living with HIV expect to see from the PCB meeting this week?

1) As many of us are already well aware, the issue of how UNAIDS manages sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power, is a major part of the agenda of the first day of the PCB meeting. To that end, consensus action points from the civil society participants of a consultation that took place last month on preventing and addressing sexual harassment at UNAIDS and across the UN bodies was also presented. We will also hear an update on the ongoing investigation from an independent expert panel whose full report and recommendations are expected to be released during the December 2018 PCB meeting.  

2) On a more mundane note, UNAIDS is expected to present their annual financial report which has come under scrutiny due to a lack of clarity and transparency related to the Secretariat’s budgeting and actual expenditures reporting. This week, we should expect to hear about the launch of a budget transparency portal that will provide the public with more accessible information about UNAIDS related financing.

3) Over the past couple of years civil society has been pressing for a standardized community engagement strategy with agreed indicators and reporting processes to institutionalize and ensure this engagement in a predictable and structured manner. In this same vein, civil society has been advocating for more robust community engagement strategies related to the planning, prioritization and budget setting for the newly created Country Envelope mechanism, which is designed to reinvigorate county-level joint work by deploying flexible and context-specific human and financial resources where they are needed most.

4) At the PCB meeting this week there will be a focused thematic session on ending discrimination in health care settings. Civil society is expected to call for a dedicated funding stream to ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of this effort. Further, there will also be an important thematic session on ending TB and HIV coinfection that will update us on community advocacy efforts leading up to the first ever TB UN High Level Meeting in NYC in September.

5) Finally, immediately following the UNPCB meeting this week, GNP+ and the PCB NGO Delegation will be co-hosting a community consultation related to the establishment of the Global Compact to Eliminate all Forms of HIV related Stigma and Discrimination.  This important initiative aims to catalyse and accelerate implementation of commitments made to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination by states, UN agencies, bilateral and international donors, NGOs and communities.

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