Statement by India on Agenda item 8: Lessons Learned on the nomination process of UNAIDS Executive Director - Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary

Statement by India on Agenda item 8: Lessons Learned on the nomination process of UNAIDS Executive Director - Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary (WHO HQs, 10-12 December, 2019)

Thank you Mr. Chair.

We appreciate the work of the Search Committee led by the distinguished Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to U.N. Ambassador Yury Ambrazevich which has helped make the right choice of leadership for this programme and thank it for submitting the report on the lessons learned on the nomination process of UNAIDS Executive Director.

2. On this agenda item, as stated in the past, we wish to reiterate that the duly elected representative Member States of the PCB should play the lead and main role in the nomination and selection process of the Executive Director in future.

3. The Search Committee’s lessons learned report has looked at the aspects related to its own work closely and made recommendations for consideration of this board. Nevertheless, what may also be equally, if not more important, is the overall context of the work of any such committee which has continuously changed since 1994. In future, it would be advisable to commence the process well in advance and have sufficient time for undertaking work related to the nomination process.

4. We are of the view that countries and people from all regions especially those with high HIV burden should be fairly represented in the UNAIDS both in the governing body as well the secretariat at all levels especially senior management. We firmly believe that merit resides in every part of the world and linguistic capabilities may be an asset but should in no case become a barrier to recruiting talent. As a natural corollary, the nomination process should more proactively encourage and welcome candidates from a wide geographical base especially those faced with a high HIV/AIDS burden and/or underrepresented.

5. We request that the detailed scoring tool developed and used by the Search Committee be shared with all the members of this board and be provided during the nomination process in future for the sake of full transparency and making informed decisions.

6. We agree with the suggestion made by the Committee as regards direct interaction of the short listed candidates with the PCB. The recommendations of the PCB made to the Secretary General should be of paramount consideration while making the choice of the Executive Director.

7. The role of the co-sponsors after the conclusion of the PCB process may be superfluous as co-sponsors are members of both the PCB as well as included in the Search Committee. This is also not in keeping with the spirit of the oversight role of the PCB, the governing body of UNAIDS, as intended by ECOSOC that constituted it as well as the primacy of the inter-governmental machinery of both ECOSOC and UNAIDS.

8. We wish for the decision on this agenda item to reflect this. Our proposed amendments to the draft decision have already been shared with the Secretariat in advance. We underline our flexibility on the language of the proposal.

Thank you.

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