The meaningful engagement of civil society in international decision-making is widely recognised as best practice, and has been emphasised since the inception of the United Nations.

In 2012, UNAIDS released ‘Guidance for Partnerships with Civil Society, including People Living with HIV and Key Populations’, which outlines how UNAIDS, its cosponsors and secretariat should “strengthen and operationalize meaningful and respectful partnership work with civil society” – without which the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS cannot be fulfilled.

This document outlines several principles for this partnership, including: evidence-informed and ethical responses; people living with HIV as leaders; responsibility of the entire Joint UN Programme on AIDS; mutual respect and accountability; and the need for “genuine partnership”.

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