​44th PCB - Intervention by Wangari Tharao - Agenda Item 4 Update on strategic human resource management issues


Delivered by Wangari Tharao, North America NGO Delegate

Thank you Mr. Chair:

As my NGO colleague from Latin America and the Caribbean highlighted, the secretariat has already embarked on the implementation of the Management Action Plan (MAP). The report on the “Update on Strategic Human Resources Management Issues” indicates that the secretariat views the MAP as an opportunity to implement new, creative and effective approaches in human resource management, to ensure a reinvigorated, strengthened and thriving workforce that a stronger UNAIDS requires. In addition, UNAIDS also has a comprehensive 5 year Human Resource Strategy with investments in staff development to strengthen performance; support collective leadership in an enabling environment that upholds staff dignity and accountability to support a collective vision that would lead to a strengthened UNAIDS.

However, we noted in the update that UNAIDS has lost more than 25% of its workforce between 2011 to 2018. Meanwhile, we have continued to build a very ambitious HIV agenda that keeps expanding to ensure that we end AIDS by 2030. We also know that this ambitious plan has not been accompanied with increased funding, instead, we have seen significant reductions, jeopardizing UNAIDS ability to deliver an optimized response. We are concerned that changes in funding have major impacts on job losses, result in overburdened staff, leading to frustration and poor morale. A strong human resources management strategy calls for sufficient financial resources to ensure that UNAIDS is staffed adequately to meet its mandate.

As my colleague mentioned, from 2013 to 2018, there was only an increase of 2% in female staff at UNAIDS and a notable absence of Trans people. We have been calling for the integration of GIPA/MIPA in the HIV response for many years to ensure that those impacted by HIV, particularly those from key populations, are included in leadership positions in organizations and institutions working with them. As an example, in the organization where I work, we deliver primary health services to immigrant and refugee women from the global South and they populate all levels of the organization. This is GIPA/MIPA in practice. We are calling on UNAIDS to ensure , an intersectional approach based on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, geography, etc. as part of the human resource management strategy.

Finally, we also noted a number of issues around hiring of new staff including: the long duration of time it takes to fill vacancies, issues around job mobility, as well as competency and leadership gaps, which all require attention. A strong UNAIDS needs to ensure that the human resources management strategy is grounded on principles of justice, fairness and transparency to foster cultural competency and build leadership skills while supporting a work/life balance.

We call on donors to ensure that UNAIDS is adequately resourced to ensure a reinvigorated, strengthened and thriving workforce, so that the UNAIDS we need responds effectively to the response and leaves no one behind.

Thank you.



Photo from UNAIDS Communications and Global Advocacy

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