Statement on Agenda item 3: Selection process of the next Executive Director, UNAIDS during the Special Session of the Programme Coordinating Board – Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary (Geneva, 28 March 2019)

Statement on Agenda item 3: Selection process of the next Executive Director, UNAIDS during the Special Session of the Programme Coordinating Board – Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary (Geneva, 28 March 2019)

Mr. Chair,

We thank the Executive Director Dr. Michele Sidibe for his forward looking opening remarks and the Secretariat for the background document on this agenda item.

2. We take this opportunity to welcome the new Deputy Executive Director Dr. Shannon Hader. Mr. Chair, we also congratulate you as the new Chair of the PCB, wishing you all success, as well as the members of the Search Committee, especially H.E. Mr. Yury Ambrazevich, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to UN on assuming its Chairmanship.

3. During the inter-sessional consultative process undertaken by the PCB Bureau, we had provided very specific and reasoned suggestions to logically build upon the selection process of the Executive Director adopted previously in 1994 and 2008. While our preference was for a Search Committee distinct from the PCB Bureau to avoid any potential conflict, we join consensus reposing our full faith and confidence in it and hope for a fully transparent and inclusive selection process.

4. We value an inclusive governance model of which UNAIDS is a unique example in the UN System and want the Member States of the PCB to play a lead and main role in the selection process in future.

5. We appreciate the inter-sessional work done by the PCB Bureau and the Search Committee till date. We thank the Chair for the oral update. We were, however, expectant of a detailed report to this Special Session PCB on its initial meeting, deliberations and key decisions. It is requested that regular reports be submitted by the Search Committee to the PCB to keep it fully informed during the inter-sessional period.

6. We also request the Search Committee to proactively encourage and welcome candidates from regions from which an Executive Director of UNAIDS has not yet been appointed.

7. In addition, the scoring tool to be used by the Search Committee to evaluate the candidates and which is to be developed by it, based on that used by 2008 Search Committee, be shared with all PCB Member States as soon as available.

8. Following the experience of the 2008 selection procedure, it would also be advisable for the Search Committee to adopt an arms-length approach vis-a-vis the UNAIDS Secretariat and engage an independent firm as the support mechanism for recruitment.

9. We wish to suggest that the candidates finally shortlisted by the Search Committee be provided an opportunity to make a formal presentation on the day to be earmarked for the PCB discussion and consideration of the report of the Search Committee during the upcoming 44th regular session. Following such consideration, the recommendations of the PCB made to the Secretary General should be of paramount consideration while making the choice of the Executive Director.

10. With these remarks, I conclude by extending India’s full support and cooperation to UNAIDS, including to the PCB and the Search Committee in the important process of finding the right leadership to galvanize this vital programme to help accelerate our collective efforts to end the epidemic of AIDS by 2030, a common goal in which we cannot and will not fail.

Thank you.

 
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