“I firmly believe that only people living with HIV can effectively defend the rights of other people living with HIV like me. As the saying goes, ‘nothing about us without us’”, says Cecilia Chung, Transgender Rights activist and former GNP+ co-chair.
Emancipation and self-determination are core principles for GNP+ as a network. We strive for a governance structure that reflects that.
The governance of GNP+ continues to develop to remain relevant to a changing HIV epidemic. Currently the Board and our governance structure is being reorganised. The current Board of Directors will be changed to become a Supervisory Board. Board members will no longer be appointed by regional networks, but will be selected through an application process focused on the skills needed for an effective Board of Directors.
Geography v Identity
For many years people living with HIV have been organising geographically, but increasingly people in the different regions are also advocating on issues based on their identities. GNP+ works with regional networks, key population networks and other partners to be inclusive of the issues of all people living with HIV. In addition, GNP+ regularly consults with the wider community on specific advocacy issues.
The Board of GNP+ sets the general direction for the Executive Director to follow and work towards, together with a team of professional staff in Amsterdam and Cape Town. The Executive Committee of the Board works closely with the Executive Director.
As a global network, regional representation remains important. Five of the six regions (Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and North America) have two seats on the Board – one male, one female. Africa has two seats each for Anglophone and Francophone Africa. All six regions have two votes. The Regional Coordinators have observer status.
In addition five seats are reserved for representatives from key populations – people who use drugs, sex workers, and men who have sex with men and transgender people – and young people living with HIV, and treatment advocates. These all have observer status.
Board members’ terms are two years. There is an annual face-to-face meeting.
Amsterdam and Cape Town
The daily work of GNP+ happens in our offices in Amsterdam and Cape Town with a total of 9 staff members. Much of our work is not done at our desks, however, but with the policy and decision makers in Geneva or New York or with national network leaders from Nairobi to Kathmandu.