By Haruna Gimba
The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board has agreed to create an Independent Expert Panel to further strengthen implementation of its zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment.
This resolution followed a call by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, for an external high-level independent panel to provide recommendations to the UNAIDS.
According to press statement issued to newsmen, the panel will review the current situation in the UNAIDS secretariat with regard to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power and retaliation, including by looking back over the past seven years, to assess the organizational culture at headquarters and the regional and country offices.
The statement added that the panel will evaluate the effectiveness of existing policies and procedures to prevent and address harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, retaliation and abuse of power, in the UNAIDS Secretariat workplace.
It will also recommend a comprehensive set of prioritized measures on organizational culture, policies and fair and due process procedures with respect to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, retaliation and abuse of power in the workplace.
The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Bureau announced that the panel will be comprised of Professor Gillian Triggs (Australia)—Chair, Sir Robert Francis (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Ms Vrinda Grover (India), Dr Fulata Moyo (Malawi) and Ms Charlotte Petri Gornitzka (Sweden).
Meanwhile, the Chair of the panel, Professor Triggs, has issued a statement inviting confidential written submissions on matters related to the work of the panel to be sent to IEPChair@qedconsulting.com.
Health Reporters also gathered that the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Bureau has also selected QED Consulting to perform the function of secretariat to the Independent Expert Panel.