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The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board is recognized as an early and unique example of inclusive, multistakeholder governance. It provides a platform for governments, civil society, and UN organizations to provide strategic direction to the Joint Programme. With nongovernmental organizations serving as formal, non-voting participants, the Board provides a space for the incorporation of the voices of people most affected by the epidemic into Joint Programme policies. However, this unique policy forum may be underutilized. Twenty years after the establishment of UNAIDS, the Global Review Panel must assess how the governance structures of the Joint Programme can be refined to best support global efforts to deliver on the UNAIDS 2016-2021 Strategy.

Within the area of governance, the Panel is focusing on the following:

Global guidance and oversight
The United Nations General Assembly sets political direction through high-level meetings on AIDS every five years. In between those meetings there is no systematic discussion and oversight of the wider global AIDS response.

Engagement of all key stakeholder constituencies
Not all constituencies of the AIDS response have a consistent voice in Board discussions. Key stakeholders with limited opportunities for interaction with the Board include the private sector, private foundations, the scientific community and research entities, UN entities outside the Joint Programme, key bilateral agencies and young people.

Policy and strategy coherence between the Joint Programme and Cosponsors: Globally, Regionally, & in countries
UN Member States do not always provide coherent policy direction within the UNAIDS Board and the boards of Cosponsors. The UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations (CCO)—comprised of Heads of Agency of UNAIDS Cosponsors and the Secretariat—serves as a standing committee for the Board and facilitates the input of Cosponsors into the strategy, policies, and operations of the Joint Programme. However, in recent years the Board deliberations most often taken up by the CCO have related to budget and financing matters rather than in-depth strategy and policy debate related to the AIDS response. Within an era that demands greater integration of efforts to achieve Agenda 2030, the functioning of the CCO within the wider UN development system requires particular consideration.