Agenda 2 - intervention by Lucy Wanjiku Njenga, African delegate

Thank you, Chair.

A stronger UNAIDS is and will always be one that holds the vision of Ending AIDS and leaving no one behind. That is the UNAIDS we need. We are having this special PCB meeting because we want to look forward to and keep working on the vision of UNAIDS even as we appreciate the miles covered. In my country Kenya, we are battling with stockout of some regimens because the transition plan was not clearly articulated, young women and girls still can’t access DTG. In Venezuela, clinics are being closed by its own government and in Cameroon, people living with HIV have no hope. Meanwhile, in several countries in Asia-Pacific, we are seeing an increasing trend of new infections among key populations. These are the issues that should give us sleepless nights, the people we are working for, quality of life. Looking at what keeps the engine of UNAIDS running is the staff, when they are not experiencing their highest quality of life, it is hard to think or work on our quality of life, thus the Management Action plan.

The Management Action Plan is about changing culture. Achieving organizational culture change in UNAIDS must be an effort undertaken across the organization. Every single department and employee should embrace it . What is spoken of programmatically should be practiced internally. We are proud that UNAIDS has stood as a champion for human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment and we would like to see this expertise embedded throughout the implementation of the Management Action Plan. We have been disheartened to see that the gender team within the Secretariat has gotten smaller over the years. We see the current time as a crucial opportunity to rectify this, by installing senior full time gender and diversity expertise to champion the implementation of the Management Action Plan.

An effective Management Action Plan focuses on culture change, and managers have a role to play in that. In this case, people with supervisory power must also be focused in future endeavors to shifting the day to day behaviors at UNAIDS. A fundamental cultural shift, that empowers and supports its staff is critical to a UNAIDS that we need.

We remain guardedly optimistic about the Management Action Plan. We look forward to seeing how this plan will be implemented and, with the rest of the PCB, we will be monitoring regular updates on these actions over time. We are committed to a stronger UNAIDS, a UNAIDS that we still need, that is critical to so many of us as we continue to battle to access life saving medicines, people centered services and social enablers to ending AIDS as a public health threat.

PCB Special Session March 2019

Agenda Item 2: Update on prevention of and response to harassment, including sexual harassment; bullying and abuse of power at UNAIDS Secretariat

Delivered by Lucy Wanjiku Njenga, NGO Africa


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