Information note

UNAIDS Executive Director urges transparency on process of release of Independent Expert Panel report

05 December 2018

In February 2018, the Executive Director of UNAIDS called for the establishment of an Independent Expert Panel on prevention of, and response to, harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power at the UNAIDS Secretariat.

The Panel has completed its report, which was distributed to the members of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) on 4 December, together with the UNAIDS Secretariat management response. The Panel’s report and the UNAIDS management response will be presented to the PCB on 11 December at its 43rd meeting.

The decision on when the report will be communicated more broadly will be made by the voting members of the PCB. UNAIDS does not decide how the report is communicated to the PCB members and/or the public. The PCB will take a decision on the public release of the report on 6 December.

“I fully respect the decision of the Programme Coordinating Board in determining when the report of the Independent Expert Panel will be shared with staff and the public. It is important to have full transparency of the process,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director. “Our staff and key partners are keen to see the report and know the findings and recommendations, as well as contribute to discussions on the next steps.”

At the request of the Executive Director, the PCB structured the Independent Expert Panel to be fully independent of the management of the UNAIDS Secretariat, including on all decisions around communication.

The UNAIDS management response proposes an agenda for change to transform the UNAIDS Secretariat into a model working environment for all staff that ensures safety and inclusivity and upholds the highest standards of accountability and integrity. The agenda underscores that harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power at any level, will not be tolerated and that perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions.

“UNAIDS has always championed human rights, justice and protection of all people in its work, everyday,” said Mr Sidibé. “Transparency builds trust which helps make a safe and inclusive workplace.”

The senior management team of UNAIDS looks forward to further consultation with all staff and our partners as we move forward on these critical issues.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Sophie Barton-Knott
tel. +41 22 791 1697