In recognition of the fact that conflict and post conflict environments are high risk areas for the spread of HIV, the UN Security Council through Resolution 1308 (2000) established HIV/AIDS units or designates focal points in Peacekeeping Missions all over the world. The Resolution set out the obligation of the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations to provide awareness and prevention programs for all peacekeeping personnel, in order to reduce the risk of peacekeepers contracting and/or spreading HIV.
The DPKO Policy on HIV (Article 30) broadly outlines the roles of HIV/AIDS units in Peacekeeping operations as constituting:
- Provision of awareness, prevention and care programs;
- Integrating HIV/AIDS issues in mission mandates
It outlines the framework for action to reduce HIV risk and vulnerability and manage its impact on peacekeeping operations. It further defines the unit’s parameters of work, areas of authority and responsibility and specific areas of overlap with medical and supply components. This policy applies to all personnel in HIV/AIDS units in peacekeeping missions; and to supporting management components at mission level. DPKO’s approach to HIV/AIDS is guided by three key principles:
- Respect for human rights; non-discrimination and non-stigmatization;
- Gender sensitivity;
- Partnerships based on collaboration and coordination with the UN Country Team and HIV/AIDS Theme Group.
HIV/AIDS units in peacekeeping operations have two key objectives:
- Within the Mission: focusing on awareness and prevention programs for both civilian and uniformed UN mission personnel;
- Support of outreach programs: HIV units sometimes provide training and technical support to integrate HIV concerns in other mission mandates.
MONUC’s HIV/AIDS Office develops 80% of its activities within the mission and 20% in support of the Congolese’s civil society.
Of utmost importance is the understanding that the HIV/AIDS Unit is not a primary actor at national level, and can neither take the lead as its mandate requires its full dedication to peacekeepers, with close collaboration with UNAIDS and the National Program, and technical support to the local Community.
Community Outreach Programs
The HIV/AIDS Office works in close collaboration with the National Program (PNLS) and the National Multi-sectorial Program (PNMLS) to undertake capacity building aimed at empowering individuals and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Support provided includes technical assistance through training and sensitization, capacity building, and direct advocacy for support of local communities in collaboration with the UN Agencies. The Office has equally provided technical support to national military and police elements through collaborative training arrangements with MONUC Military and Police Officers.
Who are our Partners?
The HIV/AIDS office works in close collaboration with various partners within and without MONUC. They include:
- MONUC Military
- UN Police
- Medical Section
- Training Section
- Public Information Division
- Other MONUC sections through Focal points
- All UN Agencies
- Programme National Multisectoriel de Lutte Contre le SIDA (PNMLS)
- Programme National de Lutte Contre le SIDA (PNLS)
- Local NGOs
- International NGOs
- Local Media Organizations