The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization. It came into force on 24 October 1945, when it was ratified by 51 countries (Member States). By 2006, its membership had grown to and is currently 192 Member States.
The Preamble of the Charter enshrines some key elements such as fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of the human person, equal rights of men and women, justice and respect for obligations [of governments], social progress and better standards of life.
The principal UN Organs are the General Assembly (all 192 Member States), the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Trusteeship Council, and the International Court of Justice.
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
UNAIDS was established in 1994 through a resolution of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and made operational in January, 1996. The ECOSOC resolution emphasized “that the global HIV/AIDS epidemic affects every country of the world and that its magnitude and impact are greatest in developing countries.” UNAIDS’ objectives as outlined by ECOSOC Resolution 1994/24 are as follows:
In fulfilling these objectives, the programme will collaborate with national Governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, groups of people living with HIV/AIDS, and United Nations system organizations.
Each Member State has a term of three years and is elected from among the Member States of the Cosponsoring Organizations.
Regional Distribution of the 22 Member States
Click the title above to download the full list of PCB membership from 1996 to 2014
Current Member States (2014)
The PCB Cosponsors are comprised of 11 United Nations system organizations working together with UNAIDS to provide technical support to countries by using each one of their comparative advantages to divide leadership over technical support areas.
The UNAIDS PCB Cosponsors
Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations (CCO)
The ECOSOC Resolution 1994/24, in addition to establishing UNAIDS, emphasized the urgent need to fully mobilize and coordinate all UN system organizations and other development partners in the global response to HIV/AIDS according to the comparative advantages of each organization. Initially, six UN system organizations were identified to “co-sponsor” the programme. By 2004, the number of Cosponsors had grown to ten; in 2012, UN Women was added. Each holds a continuous seat on the PCB. The Cosponsors have “full rights of participation” in the PCB, but do not have voting rights.