The NGOs and Communities Board Members and Liaison Officers met with the UNITAID Secretariat on 13 November 2015 to discuss UNITAID civil society engagement. One of the outcomes of that meeting was that the Secretariat agreed to draft principles to structure UNITAID engagement with civil society.
Draft principles were first shared with the NGO and Communities delegations in December 2015. After Board Members gave initial comments, the draft was circulated to a small number of CS representatives for further comments. The document was then shared with the entire contact group ahead of the 24th Executive Board Meeting for review. The Engagement Plan was then presented to the UNITAID Board at the 24th Executive Board Meeting. After the Board discussion, the Engagement Plan was signed by the Executive Director of UNITAID and the NGO and Communities Board Members.
This Engagement Plan is designed to structure UNITAID’s broader and deeper engagement with CS. It sets out specific principles at each level, recognising that CS has a unique ability to interact with communities affected by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, to react quickly to their needs, and to engage with affected and vulnerable groups.
The NGO delegation warmly welcomes the Secretariat’s initiative set out a plan for engaging with civil society and remains convinced of the critical importance of working with civil society to achieve UNITAID’s objectives and the wider international goals on HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and HCV. We believe the next step will be to think through the operational implications of the plan and create a work plan with concrete actions and timelines for each of the 8 principles set out in the Engagement Plan. We look forward to working with the Secretariat on this closely.