Michel Sidibé Should Voluntarily Suspend Himself As UNAIDS Executive Director While Expert Panel Examines His Response To Sexual Misconduct Claims At Agency

The Lancet: Offline: Sexual and reproductive rights — health and hypocrisy
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…Michel Sidibé has done much that is good at UNAIDS. … And yet his responses to allegations of sexual misconduct at UNAIDS have been disappointing. … [T]he growing schism over his leadership only shows how divided the AIDS community has become … There are calls for Sidibé to resign or to be fired. Neither outcome should happen. The UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board … issued its terms of reference for an Independent Expert Panel on sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse at the UNAIDS secretariat. The panel will deliver its report by December. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres must then decide Sidibé’s fate. In the meantime, the right response should surely be that Sidibé voluntarily suspends himself during the period of this inquiry. Voluntary suspension would enable an acting executive director … to defuse a disablingly acrimonious dispute and restore confidence in UNAIDS. Defending sexual and reproductive health and rights leaves no room for hypocrisy” (5/19).