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Cablegate: Unaids Begins Search for New Executive Director and U.S.

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 001579

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KHIV TH

SUBJECT: UNAIDS BEGINS SEARCH FOR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND U.S.
ELECTED CHAIR OF PCB


1. (U) Summary. The governing body of the Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) met in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from
23-25 April for the 22nd Meeting of the Programme Coordinating Board
(PCB). The USDEL was led by Ambassador Mark Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS
Coordinator, and included representatives from Department of State,
USAID, and U.S. Mission Geneva. The United States was elected Chair
of the PCB for a two-year term, taking over from Thailand. The
board elected Ethiopia to serve as the vice chair and Guatemala to
serve as rapporteur. The meeting was attended by more than 300
participants and observers from member states, international
organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations.
Taking priority on this year's agenda were: gender sensitivity of
AIDS responses; the second independent evaluation of UNAIDS; and the
process of nomination for a new Executive Director of UNAIDS. The
next full PCB Meeting is scheduled to take place in Geneva in
December 2008. Paras 2-6 summarize the key recommendations from
specific sessions at the meeting. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) TB/HIV Thematic Day. For the first time, the PCB meeting
started its meeting with a one-day thematic discussion. Given the
high co-infection rates between HIV and tuberculosis (TB) and the
significant need for program synergy, the pre-selected theme was the
links between TB and HIV. Issues around the diagnosis and treatment
of TB among people living with HIV/AIDS and the need for closer
collaboration between HIV and TB programs were addressed. [Comment:
The thematic discussion successfully raised awareness of the
challenges in addressing TB/HIV co-infection and resulted in good
recommendations for future action. In addition, the thematic day
enabled board members to engage in intensive informal consultations
on key decisions. This allowed the USDEL to defuse a number of
sensitive issues prior to their consideration on the floor. End
Comment.]

3. (U) Independent Evaluation. In June 2007, the PCB requested that
an independent evaluation of UNAIDS be carried out to reassess
priorities, determine how to build on achievements, and assess the
efficacy and effectiveness of UNAIDS (Secretariat and Cosponsors) at
the global, regional and country levels. At this meeting, the PCB
addressed issues specifically relating to composition of the
evaluation Oversight Committee. The PCB agreed to invite an
additional nomination of a person openly living with HIV, and to
grant a representative of UNAIDS' cosponsoring organizations a
liaison role rather than serving as a full member of the Oversight
Committee in order to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.
The Oversight Committee will consist of representatives from
governments and civil society, ensuring appropriate participation of
people living with HIV and other stakeholders. The final report of
the evaluation team will be presented at the December 2009 PCB
meeting.

4. (U) Gender. The PCB acknowledged the urgent need to address
gender concerns and to scale up country-level work. The PCB asked
UNAIDS to take immediate action to respond to these concerns by
developing a number of approaches and tools to assist countries in
planning and implementing accelerated action. These should address

BANGKOK 00001579 002 OF 002


women, girls and gender inequality. In addition, a need was
identified to work on similar operational approaches for men who
have sex with men, transgender, bisexual and lesbian populations who
are also highly vulnerable to the epidemic. The UNAIDS Secretariat
will report on progress in this area at the December 2008 PCB
meeting.

5. (U) New Executive Director for UNAIDS. The Executive Director of
UNAIDS, Dr. Peter Piot, announced that, after 12 years as Executive
Director, he would step down at the end of his term (31 December
2008). Pursuant to ECOSOC resolution 1994/24, the UNAIDS
cosponsoring organizations are responsible for providing the
Secretary General of the United Nations with recommendations for a
new Executive Director, and the Secretary General will appoint a new
Executive Director for UNAIDS. The PCB, including the cosponsors,
agreed that it is important to present the Secretary General with
strong candidates who have broad support from all UNAIDS
stakeholders, including Member States, civil society, and the UNAIDS
cosponsors. The PCB decided to establish a search committee
comprised of representatives from Member States, the NGO
delegations, and the cosponsoring organizations. The Search
Committee will be responsible for advertising the position,
reviewing candidates, and providing the cosponsoring organizations
with ranked candidates for consideration and transmission to the
Secretary General. The PCB further agreed to hold an extraordinary
session in 2008 to review candidates and provide its input to the
cosponsors.

6. (U) The PCB also reviewed and endorsed a draft Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) between UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The draft MOU will also go to the
Global Fund board for consideration.
JOHN

++ SZ:DHOHMAN, ECON:JWALLER

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