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Statement of the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB on release of the Independent Expert Panel's report on harassment

The NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB
Calls for the Immediate Release of the Independent Expert Panel’s (IEP) Report
December 6, 2018

At the 42nd UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board (PCB) meeting in June 2018, the PCB agreed to establish an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) to coordinate and complete a comprehensive review/audit on prevention of and response to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power at UNAIDS in the past seven years. With utmost care and efforts, the IEP was set up independently and was fully resourced to ensure complete transparency and autonomy to conduct their work, overseen by the PCB Bureau.

The IEP was to be given 100% access to people, processes and policies inside UNAIDS to do its work and it was requested to complete its work in advance of the 43rd PCB meeting in December 2018. It was further agreed that the Report, its findings and recommendations, would be presented to the PCB and released publicly in advance of the December meeting, as other PCB documents are. The establishment of the panel, the timeline, the schedule of actions and planned release of its findings were welcomed by the PCB NGO Delegation as important action steps to address the general distrust and malaise at UNAIDS, and among civil society. It was very much in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, with everyone working together with the leadership to do the right thing.

All the steps and timelines related to this process were widely shared. The Bureau informed all PCB members that the Report, along with the management response from UNAIDS, would be released publicly on December 3rd and posted on the UNAIDS PCB website. However, after the IEP completing its task, the PCB Bureau could not reach consensus on whether to proceed with this previously agreed approach.

The PCB NGO Delegation is answerable to its constituencies who demand nothing less than transparency and accountability. We welcome the public statements and press releases calling for the immediate release of the IEP report, including that of the Executive Director of UNAIDS, as well as the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights. The agreement was to release the IEP report, as well as the Management Response. Anything short of that is unacceptable. It is in the greater good of the HIV response that the UNAIDS PCB demonstrates the highest standards of transparency, accountability and ethical leadership.

We strongly call on the PCB for the public release of the IEP Report before the 43rd PCB meeting.

AIDS Action Europe, Germany
All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV, Ukraine
Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Canada
Gestos – HIV, Communication and Gender, Brazil
Global Network of Black People Working in HIV, United States
Guyana Trans United, Guyana
India HIV/AIDS Alliance, India
Rumah Cemara, Indonesia
Uganda Youth Coalition on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and
HIV/AIDS, Uganda
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