Madame Chair, we take note of the internal transformation currently happening within UNAIDS, through the implementation of the Human Resources Strategy, issued in November 2010 and underpinned by a competency framework, aimed at strengthening the Secretariat’s ability to deliver on its mandate. We appreciate the report by the Staff Association as it provides a glimpse into the lived experience of the real capital of this institution: its people. We welcome the commitments we have heard to “change with a human face” as well the reports of dialogue between staff and administration, recognizing from our experiences on the ground, that dialogue creates commitment, accountability and solutions; we wish to see the transparent dialogue continue. We are encouraged by the progress we see to review non-staff contracts to ensure that everyone doing staff work has a staff contract and appropriate conditions of service, including health insurance. We look forward to continued reports on progress.
We take note of the functional review conducted, which aims to ensures optimal deployment of staff at headquarters, regional and country levels, to strengthen country focus, to maximise value for money and to lower overall operating costs.
We also recognize that a key finding of the Second Independent Evaluation (SIE) was that, while UNAIDS has played a critical role in highlighting HIV and human rights issues, UNAIDS needs to strengthen its capacity to address HIV and human rights. We recognise that adequate staffing through qualified and dedicated staff with expertise and stature is required for this to happen. Therefore, we encourage the Secretariat to reflect strongly on this when considering changes which will occur in terms of staffing, particularly at the regional and national levels. UNAIDS’ leadership on gender and human rights, with a focus on addressing the underlying inequalities that lead to the disparity in the AIDS response, must continue to be strengthened and become more of a priority, with adequate political will, leadership, and resources devoted to these. In addition, the evaluation recognized the lack of consensus among UNAIDS on controversial, human rights-related issues; thus we urge UNAIDS, through the implementation of the new Strategic Plan, to be much more consistent, strategic, and influential in highlighting the human rights of people living with HIV, key populations at higher risk of HIV, women and other communities affected by HIV and AIDS.
Madame Chair, in terms of technical support, the evaluation recognized that it was difficult to assess the overall quality and volume of technical support due to a lack of coherent strategic framework and given multiple, competing providers of technical support. During the discussions following the SIE, the NGO Delegation pointed out the need for a coherent and comprehensive strategy that integrates technical support and capacity building into the overarching partnership strategy as well as in all parts of the UNAIDS strategy – not in a piecemeal way, but in a comprehensive manner, in an effort to focus on long-term, sustainable capacity improvements. We will make further comments on this issue under the Technical Support agenda Item later today.
We also note with appreciation, the need to link the fact that partnership is an overarching pillar for the work of UNAIDS. The NGO Delegation had envisaged that a partnership strategy that is embedded in the Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF) and Technical Support Strategy. However, these pieces seem isolated from the partnership strategy and we hope that through the UBRAF reporting, UNAIDS can clearly illustrate how these strategies support the realization of UNAIDS work.