Agenda 5. Update on strategic human resources management issues
To be delivered by Trevor Stratton, NGO Delegation North America
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The NGO Delegation welcomes the Update on Strategic Human Resources Management Issues.
We would like to thank the Secretariat and staff of UNAIDS for their work to deliver on the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the target of ending AIDS by 2030.
But now it has become apparent that UN staff will be asked to do “less with less” even after reducing overall staffing levels 4 % since April 1st 2015. And although the UNAIDS Secretariat Human Resources Strategy has been updated and extended for the period of 2016-2021, these projections were based on a fully funded UBRAF.
The NGO Delegation was particularly pleased to see the recognition of outstanding UNAIDS Secretariat staff who demonstrated leadership and aligned with the mission and values of the organization through the UNAIDS Secretariat Human Rights Defenders Awards.
The rewards recognized outstanding contributions by Secretariat staff members in promoting human rights in the categories of Innovation in human rights; Participation and inclusion of people living with HIV and marginalized groups; Prevention of and responding to HIV related human rights crises; and Supporting civil society organizations.
We applaud UN Cares, the UN System- wide workplace programme on HIV. In 2015, UN Cares launched UN for All, a new series of training modules designed to address stigma and discrimination in the UN workplace. We strongly urge all countries to help to engender safe and supportive workplace environments for all people living with HIV and AIDS. We are also pleased with the UN Plus, the UN System HIV Positive Staff Group, and their work toward a compilation of good practices on access to treatment, care and support and a mapping of support resources is underway for use in cases of HIV-related harassment and discrimination. This is a good example that UNAIDS can promote within other sectors of workplace safety and health globally and engender safe and supportive workplace environments for all people living with HIV and AIDS.
However, the NGO Delegation has found a lack of specific references to The Greater Involvement of People living with HIV (GIPA), and the UNAIDS own GIPA Policy Brief which enshrined the more meaningful engagement of people living with HIV. Though developed in 1994, UNAIDS GIPA Policy Brief remains as a central guiding principle of the AIDS response the world over. Indeed, the principle of nothing about us without us is the very reason UNAIDS included the NGO Delegation on the PCB in the first place and should be promoted whenever and wherever possible. In addition, in an effort to leave no one behind, we encourage UNAIDS to employ members of key populations most affected by HIV in addition to people living with HIV to ensure we can achieve true GIPA.
We also acknowledge and congratulate UNAIDS that the Gender Action Plan has been recognized as an example of best practice within the UN system in achieving gender equality and empowerment of women staff in the Secretariat. The NGO Delegation requests that this Gender Action Plan be extended to trans people as well.
In the private sector, a business experiencing the sorts of drastic decreases in revenue as experienced at UNAIDS would mean drastically reducing staff numbers, having a fire sale and possible closing up the shop altogether. We acknowledge that this dire crisis is putting unprecedented pressure and stress on all UNAIDS staff.
Again, we thank the UNAIDS staff for their work on behalf of people living with, affected by and at risk for HIV and AIDS especially during these difficult times.