The United Nations program devoted to combating HIV/AIDS is “in a state of crisis that threatens its vital work,” concluded an investigative report looking into allegations of sexual abuse within the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), reports The New York Times.
Amid the criticism, the program’s executive director, Michel Sidibé, announced he will step down in June 2019, six months before the end of his term. According to CNN, this was a “personal decision” by Sidibé, who wanted “an orderly transition of leadership.”
Authors of the investigative report found that Sidibé had “enabled a culture of harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power,” which they claimed stemmed from his “personalized, patriarchal management style.”
The investigation was launched in part after Martina Brostrom, a policy adviser at UNAIDS, accused Luiz Loures, the deputy executive director of UNAIDS, of sexually assaulting her. Critics say they had warned Sidibé about Loures for several years. They tell CNN that the United Nations has failed to take complaints of sexual harassment seriously and that the organization cannot be trusted to police itself. What’s more, Brostrom told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Sidibé offered her a promotion if she dropped her claims against Loures.