UNAIDS PCB meeting set to start in Chiang Mai

Photo by bobbyramakantThe 22nd meeting of the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS is set to be held from April 23 to 25 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The first time I heard about the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) was when a colleague and friend attended one of the board’s meetings in Geneva last year.

Since then, I have been hearing more about the board and have had the opportunity to discover exactly what the PCB’s work means to me.

The joint UNAIDS programme is not a UN body as its name suggests. It is actually a HIV programme jointly managed by 10 UN co-sponsor organizations:

- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

- World Health Organization (WHO)

- World Bank (WB)

- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

- United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO)

- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

- United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

- International Labour Organization (ILO)

UNAIDS is guided by the PCB, which comprises representatives from:

- 22 governments from across the world

- the UNAIDS Co-sponsors

- five NGO representatives, including associations of people living with HIV.

The PCB is responsible for the following functions:

- to establish broad policies and priorities for the UNAIDS programme;

- to review and decide upon the planning and execution of the UNAIDS programme. For this purpose it is kept informed of all aspects of the development of the Joint Programme and considers reports and recommendations submitted to it by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, and the Committee of Co-sponsoring Organizations (CCO):

- to review and approve the plan of action and budget for each financial period, prepared by the Executive Director and reviewed by the CCO;

- to review proposals of the Executive Director and approve arrangements for the financing of the UNAIDS programme;

- to review longer term plans of action and their financial implications;

- to review audited financial statements submitted by the UNAIDS programme;

- to make recommendations to the co-sponsoring organizations regarding their activities in support of the UNAIDS programme, including those of mainstreaming;

- to review periodic reports that evaluate the progress of the Joint Programme towards the achievement of its goals.

The over-arching aims of the thematic session of PCB’s April meeting are to:

- showcase the benefits of a joint HIV/TB (tuberculosis) approach to scaling up towards universal access;

- highlight the need to address TB within the comprehensive response to HIV;

- build commitment to integrated delivery of quality HIV and TB prevention, treatment, care and support services.

Let’s hope that the PCB and UNAIDS will help improve responses to HIV and TB.

Bobby Ramakant-CNS

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