What actions has the UN taken against HIV/AIDS?
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2019
In June 1981, scientists in the United States reported the first clinical evidence of a disease that would later become known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. The United Nations is committed to a wide range of activities and initiatives around the world in the battle against HIV and AIDS.
Selected Highlights of UN Action on HIV/AIDS:
- 1985: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization (WHO) host the first International AIDS Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
- 1987 February: WHO launches the Global Programme on AIDS.
- 1987 October: AIDS becomes the first disease ever debated on the floor of General Assembly (A/42/PV.44, A/42/PV.45, A/42/PV.48). Resolution 42/8 is adopted on 22 October.
- 1988: WHO declares declares 1 December to be World AIDS Day. The General Assembly officially recognizes the day with A/RES/43/15.
- 1994: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) passes resolution 1994/24 endorsing the establishment of a Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, which will be known as UNAIDS.
- 1996: UNAIDS becomes fully operational on 1 January, coordinating the main UN agencies involved with HIV/AIDS and combining the knowledge of its cosponsoring bodies.
- 1998: UNAIDS and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) publish the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights (E/CN.4/1997/37) as a tool for States in designing, coordinating and implementing effective national HIV/AIDS policies and strategies.
- 2000 July: The UN Security Council meets to discuss the impact of AIDS on peace and security in Africa. This is the first time that the Council discusses a health issue as a threat to peace and security. Security Council resolution 1308 (2000) on HIV/AIDS and International Peacekeeping Operations is adopted on 17 July.
- 2000 September: World leaders meet for the UN Millennium Summit and adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration (A/RES/55/2). The Declaration sets out a series of time-bound targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Goal 6 focuses on stopping and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- 2001: The General Assembly holds a Special Session on the Problem of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in all its aspects. The Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS “Global Crisis – Global Action”, A/RES/S-26/2 is adopted on 27 June.
- 2006: The General Assembly High-level Meeting on HIV/AIDS adopts a 53-point Political Declaration on the way towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
- 2011 June: World leaders gather in New York for the General Assembly High-level Meeting on AIDS. The Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our Efforts to Eliminate HIV/AIDS is adopted as A/RES/65/277.
- 2011 June: The Security Council passes resolution 1983 (2011) on the impacts of HIV/AIDS epidemic in conflict and post-conflict situations.
- 2015 Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is adopted by the General Assembly in September. It outlines new sustainable development goals including Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. SD3 targets to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and to combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases by 2030.
- June 2016: General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/228 convened a high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS, held on 8-10 June.
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.