Malian-born Michel Sidibé and leader of UNAIDS to step down over reports on his bad leadership style

An independent experts describe Sidibé's era as a patriarchal style of management that enabled a culture of sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power in UNAIDS.

Michel SIDIBé, executive director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

Sidibé made the decision at the 43rd meeting of the Programme Coordinating Board in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday, December 11, 2018.

“We don’t have a moment to lose in moving forward our management response. Our actions will make UNAIDS stronger and better,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “I look forward to working with all staff to make UNAIDS a model workplace for staff in all their diversity. I look forward to an inclusive, transparent and open dialogue and collaboration with staff in shaping a new UNAIDS.”

He was due to hold office until January 2020, but he told a meeting of the organisation’s governing board that he would complete his duties at the end of June 2019.

UNAIDS calls for management response on the agenda for change

The UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) called on UNAIDS to fully implement the management response (UNAIDS agenda for change) to address harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power, at the UNAIDS Secretariat which was presented to Board members by the Executive Director of UNAIDS at the meeting

The PCB agreed to establish a working group to oversee the immediate implementation of the management response and to discuss the report of the Independent Expert Panel in a special PCB meeting before March 2019. The PCB also welcomed the statement of the UNAIDS Secretariat Staff Association and the critical role they played in bringing to the PCB’s attention to the issue of harassment at the workplace.

Independent experts report on UNAIDS organisation structure

The independent experts described Sidibé's era as a patriarchal style of management that enabled a culture of harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power in UNAIDS.

The report released last Friday, the four independent experts called for a change of leadership at the agency though they acknowledged the outstanding contribution of Sidibé to the organisation but with no confidence that his leadership style will avert any impending crises.


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