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close this bookUNAIDS and Nongovernmental Organizations (Best Practice - Key Material) (UNAIDS, 1999, 40 p.)
close this folderChapter 1: Partnership and collaboration with civil society
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsHow can we expand the response?
View the documentWhat is civil society, and why is it important?
Open this folder and view contentsImplementing the expanded response: partnerships with civil society
Open this folder and view contentsWhy should we involve people with HIV/AIDS?
View the documentCosponsors and their expanded response through civil society
View the documentTheme Groups and their expanded response through civil society


Since its creation on 1 January 1996, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has borne the main responsibility within the United Nations (UN) system to:

· help countries strengthen their long-term ability to cope with HIV/AIDS

· provide leadership and a better coordinated and more systematic assistance on HIV/AIDS to countries from the UN agencies.

UNAIDS mission statement declares: “As the main advocate for global action in HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS leads, strengthens and supports an expanded response aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV, providing care and support, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV/AIDS, and alleviating the impact of the epidemic”.

UNAIDS brings together the experience of seven UN agencies - UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNDCP, UNESCO, WHO and World Bank - known as the ‘Cosponsors’, so as to create a broader-based and expanded response to the epidemic.

UNAIDS main office is located in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to its Geneva-based staff, UNAIDS has Country Programme Advisers (CPAs) in approximately 50 countries and Intercountry Teams in selected locations.

The multinational, multicultural professional staff of UNAIDS, 37% of whom are women, come from all major regions of the world. Many disciplines are represented, including health economics, human rights, clinical management, social science, communications and epidemiology.

UNAIDS is governed by a Programme Coordinating Board (PCB), with representatives of 22 governments from all regions of the world. Government membership rotates. The seven Cosponsoring Organizations are also represented. Five people from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including associations of people living with HIV/AIDS, have places on this board. The PCB, which meets at least once a year, has the ultimate responsibility for all policy and budgetary matters.

The seven Cosponsors also meet as a separate committee two to four times a year. The Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations gives input into policy and programme development and helps ensure that policies and guidelines developed in partnership with UNAIDS are fed back into their own work.

The strategic focus of UNAIDS involves:

· strengthening the UN system, and especially the ability of Cosponsor agencies to help governments and civil society respond to HIV/AIDS

· building world-wide political support to respond to HIV/AIDS

· improving access to information and developing the body of knowledge needed to accelerate the global response to HIV/AIDS.

A central function of UNAIDS programme is support, so that there can be an ‘expanded response’ to HIV/AIDS through the UN system. An expanded response means getting more people and organizations to join in and to do more. This requires the participation of the many groups, networks and individuals in civil society, whose ability to deal with the epidemic is key to achieving the goals of UNAIDS. UNAIDS needs to draw on their experience and resources in order to develop good policies and planning. UNAIDS role is to facilitate the response by seeking partnerships with those who share its vision, and involving those who are not yet involved.

UNAIDS vision

UNAIDS overall vision is a world in which the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases is significantly reduced, and adequate treatment, care and support are provided; and where vulnerability to the epidemic and its adverse impact on individuals and communities are substantially diminished.

Partnership and collaboration with civil society