UNAIDS and the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 30 September at UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva. The agreement aims at intensifying the AIDS response in countries of the CIS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia—where the HIV epidemic continues to rise.
Signed by the Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the CIS, Sergey Lebedev and UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, the Memorandum will extend the collaboration between the parties. The collaboration was first initiated in 2001 when the CIS Council of Heads of States approved the first ‘Programme of urgent measures in response to AIDS’ and was advanced through the Action plan to strengthen cooperation in the field of development to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 6 in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (12 October 2011).
The major fields of cooperation of this new memorandum include:
to increase cooperation between governments and civil society organizations to scale up access to HIV services for people living with HIV;
to share best practices in addressing challenges in the AIDS response;
to foster CIS Member States involvement in international activities on AIDS;
and to strengthen cooperation towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal 6—to halt and reverse the spread of HIV by 2015—in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of diplomatic missions of the CIS countries in Geneva, including the Ambassadors of Belarus and Turkmenistan, as well as senior UNAIDS staff from Geneva and the UNAIDS Regional Support Team in Moscow.
Established in 1991, the CIS promotes cooperation in political, economic, environmental, humanitarian, cultural and other domains between its Member States. It is made up of 11 countries including: Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and the Republic of Uzbekistan.