The 42nd meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 to 28 June.
At the opening, the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, gave an update on the progress made in the AIDS response and outlined the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. He stressed that the progress made in the AIDS response is uneven and fragile and called for renewed focus and shared commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Mr Sidibé also emphasized the need for a transformative approach to the epidemic that will include reforming laws and policies to end discrimination, expand community-led, people-centred approaches to HIV service delivery, the use of timely location–population data to inform decision-making, close the funding gap to achieve the Fast-Track Targets and reinforce the linkages between ending AIDS and achieving universal health coverage.
PCB members were also informed about the proactive actions taken to stamp out sexual harassment, unethical workplace behaviour and all forms of abuse at UNAIDS. These actions include establishing an internal five-point plan to ensure that actions are taken rapidly and effectively against inappropriate behaviour and abuse of authority, but also engaging with external stakeholders, including civil society, to gather valuable inputs on how to strengthen UNAIDS’ work in this area.
Later in the day, the PCB received an update on the process of the establishment of the Independent Expert Panel on prevention of and response to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power at the UNAIDS Secretariat.
The thematic segment of the meeting will take place on the last day and will focus on ending tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS. The participants will consider the challenges to addressing TB, HIV-associated TB and drug-resistant TB in the context of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. The participants will also discuss examples of good practice that demonstrate effective collaboration within national TB and HIV programmes and with communities to achieve integrated TB/HIV care and strengthen health systems.
The 42nd meeting of the PCB is being chaired by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with China acting as Vice-Chair and Algeria as Rapporteur.