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[Editorial] Silence in the face of abuse of power: UN leadership lacking

“In light of the Panel’s conclusion that the executive director and the leadership of UNAIDS are responsible for a culture of impunity for abuse of office, bullying, and harassment, including sexual harassment, the panel recommends that the PCB [UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board] take urgent action to ensure a safe and respectful workplace”. These words—in the report of the independent expert panel on prevention of and response to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power at UNAIDS Secretariat—marked a turning point in what has been a scandal for UNAIDS, as allegations that the agency’s patriarchal culture tolerates harassment and abuse of authority were found to be true.