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close this bookThe Business Response to HIV/AIDS: Innovation & Partnership (UNAIDS, 1997, 60 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentStatement of Nelson Mandela
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsThe Challenge of HIV/AIDS
Open this folder and view contentsThe Corporate Response to HIV/AIDS
Open this folder and view contentsBusiness: The New Partner in Stopping the Spread of HIV/AIDS
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of Company Actions on HIV/AIDS
View the documentAbout UNAIDS and PWBFL



The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) was established in January 1996. UNAIDS brings together the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank. It is the first programme of its kind in the UN system: a small initiative with a large outreach capacity and the potential to leverage significant resources and action through the creation of strategic partnerships.

The co-sponsors of UNAIDS provide complementary mandates and multisectoral expertise, ranging from education and socioeconomic development to women's reproductive health. They are committed to joint planning and action, giving UNAIDS a "cooperative advantage" that translates into greater synergy and efficiency. Benefits include more effective advocacy, more efficient use of UN system resources through the sharing of costs, and greater coherence in UN support for national and transnational AIDS programmes.

The UNAIDS mission states: “As the main advocate for global action on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS will lead, strengthen and support an expanded response aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV, providing care and support, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV/AIDS, and alleviating the impact of the epidemic."

To achieve its mission, UNAIDS supports the principles of:

· A long-term response. HIV/AIDS requires a long-term sustainable response, including providing a coping capacity on the part of individuals and communities. UNAIDS helps to strengthen national capacity for action, ranging from prevention and care to impact alleviation.

· Participation and partnership. A multisectoral response to HIV/AIDS can best be achieved through partnership that includes the private sector; and civil society organisations.

· Complementarity. Rather than undertaking what can be or is already being done by others, UNAIDS attempts to facilitate those efforts and to fill gaps in action and research.

In the context of these principles, promoting the involvement of private companies in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS is a major priority for UNAIDS. Companies and business organisations at all levels have their own interests in confronting the epidemic. They have unique resources and talents to be deployed in partnership with the public and non-profit sectors. Their contribution will greatly strengthen the global response to HIV/AIDS.


Dr José Lladós or Dr Eric Noehrenberg at:
20, Avenue Appia, CH-1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland
Tel: 41 (22) 791 3666
Fax: 41 (22) 791 4187
Email: [email protected]


The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum was established in February 1990 as a global network of business leaders and their companies, drawn from Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The Forum works with its member companies and local affiliated organisations in over 30 OECD, developing and transition economies. It has strategic alliances with a number of international non-governmental organisations and development agencies, including the World Bank and UNDP, and it co-ordinates an International Partnership Network consisting of some 1,000 individual "partnership practitioners" drawn from business, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, the media, academia, international development agencies and government. The Forum also runs the International Hotels Environment Initiative – a programme supported by leading hotel chains and hotel associations around the world.

The PWBLF's mission is: To work with its members and partners to promote continuous improvement in the practice of corporate citizenship and sustainable development internationally, as a natural part of successful business operations. It aims to demonstrate the value of good corporate citizenship both to companies themselves and to the prosperity of their host countries and communities; and to encourage partnership action between business, government, communities, non-governmental organisations and aid agencies. It achieves its goals through a strategy of:

· Advocacy – championing the case for corporate citizenship and cross-sector partnership, through researching and communicating good practice of successful partnerships, individual companies and industry sectors and effective enabling environments;

· Brokerage – acting as a catalyst to bring together organisations from different sectors to work on joint projects and to facilitate the transfer and scale-up of innovative solutions;

· Capacity and institution-building – running networking and action-research activities, plus workshops and training programmes to promote the practice of business citizenship and cross-sector partnership.


Karen Gommersall, Information Officer at:
The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum
15-16 Cornwall Terrace, Regent’s Park, London,
NW1 4QP, United Kingdom
Tel: 44 (171) 467 3656
Fax: 44 (171) 467 3610
Email: [email protected]

The challenge of HIV/AIDS can be overcome if we work together as a global community. All sectors and spheres of society have to be involved as equal partners. We have to join hands to develop programmes and share information and research that will halt the spread of the disease and help develop support networks for those who are affected.

President Nelson Mandela,
Honorary President of the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS

An effective global programme of prevention and care requires a new solution, a novel public health approach that builds on partnerships between public and private sectors at national and international levels. There is a clear role for businesses to play in these partnerships. Much more than just providing financial support, the business community, with its marketing and organisational skills, can bring a commercial efficiency to the delivery of health promotion messages to targeted audiences, whether they be young people in industrialised countries, or urban workers in emerging markets.

Sir Richard Sykes,
Chairman of Glaxo Wellcome and Chairman of the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS

Around the world thousands of people, including children, become infected with HIV every day, resulting in millions of deaths and enormous costs to society. The global spread of HIV/AIDS is challenging all countries and population groups, including the workforces, consumers and communities upon which business relies for its survival. The private sector therefore has an important stake in helping to tackle the epidemic at local, national and international levels. It also has valuable expertise and resources to offer which can help to support and expand the efforts already being undertaken by the public and non-profit sectors.

The Business Response to HIV/AIDS: Innovation and Partnership draws together some of the leading global experience of business in fighting the epidemic. It briefly reviews the nature, impact and spread of HIV/AIDS and the public, non-profit and corporate responses to-date, before examining how the corporate contribution can be developed and expanded, especially in partnership with other sectors. The report includes profiles drawn from a variety of companies and industry sectors in Africa, Asia, Europe, the United States and Latin America. These illustrate some of the ways in which the business sector is responding to HIV/AIDS by safeguarding direct commercial interests, contributing to the protection of stakeholders other than employees, for example customers, suppliers and local communities, acting philanthropically, adopting a global leadership role, and working in partnership with non-governmental organisations.

Whilst the examples illustrate the innovative and collaborative approaches that business can adopt in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the report emphasises the need for increased action and cross-sector cooperation by the private sector. The Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS has been established to meet this need. It will draw together some of the world's leading companies characterised by their commitment to HIV/AIDS causes, their reputations as successful businesses and corporate citizens, and their ability to mobilise and inspire their peers, with the aim of scaling-up the corporate contribution to awareness-raising, prevention and care. This report offers a global perspective on some of the corporate good practice that is currently being undertaken and points to the positive role that business could play in future – both by acting alone and in partnership with others.