Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, G.A. Res. S-26/2, U.N. Doc. A/RES/S-26/2

International Commitments and United Nations Documents

The United Nations General Assembly Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS represents “a global commitment to enhancing coordination and intensification of national, regional and international efforts to combat [HIV/AIDS] in a comprehensive manner.” It was unanimously adopted and signed by the 189 Member States at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in June 2001. This Special Session marked the first time that the General Assembly gave its exclusive attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

 The Declaration notes contributing factors to the spread of the epidemic, including discrimination, denial, lack of confidentiality, gender inequality, poverty, and illiteracy. It also reaffirms a human rights approach to HIV/AIDS, and declares a commitment to take action in the following categories, with a timeline for achievements by 2003 and 2005:
  1. Fostering leadership at all levels of society
  2. Prevention efforts
  3. Care, support, and treatment
  4. Realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms
  5. Reducing vulnerability by empowering vulnerable groups such as women
  6. Assisting children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS
  7. Alleviating social and economic impact of HIV/ADIS
  8. Furthering research and development
  9. Responding to the HIV/AIDS needs created by conflict
  10. Creating new, additional, and sustained resources
  11. Maintaining the momentum and monitoring progress
 
While the Declaration is a UN document, the primary responsibility for imeplemtning its commitments rests with the states, who are required to conduct national periodic reviews of their progress. However, as declaration, this document is non-binding on states that have signed it.
 
This document is useful to those seeking to understand the many social, economic, cultural, and legal issues underlying the HIV/AIDS epidemics, as well as a human rights based approach to HIV/AIDS. It is also useful to demonstrate international responses to HIV/AIDS.
 
Five years later, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed its Commitment to the Declaration of Commitment in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, available separately in the Resource Bank.