After Allegations of Sexual Harassment at UNAIDS, Experts Say Agency Leaders Failed

Malian Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, presents the UNAIDS report during a press conference at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Science Po), on July 18, 2018, in Paris. (Credit: Thomas SAMSON / AFP/Getty Images)

Malian Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, presents the UNAIDS report during a press conference at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Science Po), on July 18, 2018, in Paris. (Credit: Thomas SAMSON / AFP/Getty Images)

Independent experts looking into allegations of sexual harassment inside UNAIDS says the U.N agency is plagued by “defective leadership” and should consider whether its top official must go.

The group was created earlier this year following allegations of sexual harassment by staffers and calls from critics for executive-director Michel Sidibe to resign.

In a scathing new report, the experts cited a “vacuum of accountability” and said UNAIDS leaders had failed to prevent or properly respond to allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power.

Sidibe has denied claims that he tried to force a lower-level employee to drop allegations that she was sexually assaulted by his former deputy.

He said Friday that he plans to implement an “agenda for change.”