Our Vision, Mission, Principles, and Code of Conduct

Introduction and purposes of this document:

This document is intended both to inform NGOs and their representatives considering applying for a seat on the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board and as a tool to guide the current PCB NGO Delegation in achieving its Mission.

This document was produced as a result of decision 9.1 taken at the 20th Meeting (June 2007) of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board arising from the 2006 Review of NGO and Civil Society participation in the Programme Coordinating Board.[1] This document was updated in October 2012.[2] Subsequent updates were done by the NGO Delegation through the years, as the principles and concepts evolved. The last edit was done in 2020 with the integration of more inclusive gender-based approaches.

This document is intended to be used in tandem with the UNAIDS PCB NGO Terms of Reference and the UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegates’ Manual.


Our vision guiding the PCB NGO Delegation:

We envision a world where all stakeholders—people living with HIV and other key populations[3], civil society, governments and international bodies—meet the challenges of the global AIDS pandemic together by combining their collective competencies to generate creative, equitable, holistic, sustainable and effective policies and outcomes that lead to a world free of HIV.


The Mission of the PCB NGO Delegation is:

To bring forward the perspectives and expertise of people living with, affected by, most at risk of and vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, as well as civil society, to ensure that UNAIDS is guided by rights-based, equitable and gender-based approach to guarantee access to comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for all.

We accomplish our Mission by actively:

1. broad input from civil society;

We seek input from the broader active HIV and AIDS civil society community and, in particular, the regional constituencies we represent.

2. participation of people living with HIV;

We advocate for the greater participation and meaningful involvement of PLHIV and other key populations in every phase of the development, implementation and evaluation of HIV and AIDS policies and programmes.

3. setting the agenda;

We bring forward and advocate for the inclusion of the issues, problems, perspectives and needs of people living with HIV and those most at risk of and vulnerable to HIV in the agendas of PCB meetings and we table solutions.

4. reviewing documents;

We read, analyse, seek broad civil society input on, and strategize about the documents related to and in preparation for PCB meetings and working groups meetings.

5. advocating with other PCB members and observers;

We strategically meet with, influence, negotiate and confer with Member States, Cosponsors to advance our agenda.

6. recruiting candidates and mentoring New Delegates;

We recruit the best, most representative candidate NGO Delegates to serve on the PCB and once appointed we share our experiences on the PCB so that they may quickly learn to participate most effectively.

7. collaborating with observer NGOs;

We invite observer NGOs attending PCB meetings to join us in order to give input, collaborate and strategize with us.

8. participating in working groups;

We participate actively in working groups, steering committees and other ad hoc groups on key issues and policies relevant to the Delegation’s mission and work.

9. attending meetings;

We attend and actively participate in PCB meetings, pre-planning meetings and orientation meetings.

10. reporting back to civil society.

We report the outcomes of our work on the PCB to the broader civil society after PCB meetings in a timely manner.


We agree that, regardless of our particular backgrounds and fields of expertise, we support the following principles in all our work to achieve our Mission:

1. Involvement of PLHIV;

We support the dignity of and involvement of people living with HIV including the principles stated in the Denver Principles and the Paris Declaration’s statement on the greater involvement of people living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA principle).

2. Human rights;

We support the provision of and protection of the human rights of all people. Rights-based approaches create an enabling environment for successful HIV responses and affirm the human rights and dignity of people living with HIV and other key populations. We support rights based approach to public health policies and well-being of individuals and communities above commercial, financial and political considerations.

Treatment alone does not end the HIV epidemic. Rather, we need to examine, understand and intervene in the larger social contexts that drive HIV vulnerability including criminalization, poverty, lack of educational opportunities, inadequate medical care, and social marginalization and discrimination.

3. Non-discrimination;

We do not discriminate against anyone regardless of their ethnicity, socio economic status, age, occupation, religion, sexual orientation, sexual behaviour, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (GIESC), education, culture or country of origin.

4. Inclusion of those living with and most-at-risk of HIV infection, and especially, marginalized populations affected by HIV;

We encourage the active participation of, inclusion of the perspectives of and candid discussions about:

  • People living with HIV;
  • Gay men and other men who have sex with men;
  • People who use drugs;
  • Sex workers;
  • Girls and women;
  • Transgender and non-binary people;
  • Prisoners and former prisoners;
  • Orphans and vulnerable children;
  • Migrant workers (and immigrants);
  • Indigenous persons;
  • Displaced populations and refugees;
  • Aging populations;
  • Adolescents and young people; and
  • People with disabilities

5. Gender equity;

We defend / affirm the right of people to express their gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (GIESC) and we support equal rights of boys and girls, men and women, intersex, transgender and non-binary people.

6. Evidence informed.

We support an HIV response informed by scientific and practice based evidence not ideology.


We agree that, while working together as a Delegation to achieve our Mission, we:

1. respect diversity and are culturally sensitive;

We welcome and honour our diversity —gender, racial, sexual, life-style and personal history—and endeavour to continually deepen our understanding of each other’s cultures.

2. foster a culture of inclusion;

We encourage each other to be fully and naturally ourselves and we treat each other as equal partners.

3. co-lead and work together as a team;

We, variously, take the lead and encourage each other to lead and co-lead, making all crucial decisions by a consensus process. We strive to have a balanced workload.

4. value each other's knowledge and skills;

We seek each other’s specific area(s) of expertise in the pandemic and we encourage each other to employ and share our skills.

5. maintain integrity, professionalism and a high standard of ethics;

We are honest, friendly, respectful and collegial with each other.

6. create a safe space for open dialogue;

Because we believe that every voice matters, we encourage each other’s candour, invite constructive and respectful disagreement and do not attack those who disagree.

7. communicate clearly and considerately;

We speak clearly, slowly and concisely, and we are considerate of those for whom English is a second language.

8. respect confidentiality;

We will not share information that is shared either as personal information or marked as confidential.

9. actively partcipate and contribute to the best of our abilities;

We will strive to balance workloads and encourage delegates to grow in their capacities.

10. engage passionately;

We welcome each other’s perspectives and passion.

11. and are accountable to ourselves, each other, the PCB and broader civil society.

We hold each other and ourselves accountable and take ownership of our failures and celebrate our successes.

[2] This document was contracted and funded by the UNAIDS Secretariat. It was written, based in part upon an existing Terms of Reference, in 2007/2008 by T. Richard Corcoran, consultant and former PCB NGO Delegate (2004-06), with input and support from a steering committee (consisting of PCB NGO Delegates and a representative of the UNAIDS Secretariat) and reviewed by advisors outside the NGO Delegation who were selected by the steering committee. Additions and changes to UNAIDS and Delegation processes and policies were revised in this document in October 2012 by the NGO Delegation and CF.

[3] UNAIDS considers gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs and prisoners and other incarcerated people as the five main key population groups that are particularly vulnerable to HIV and frequently lack adequate access to services.

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