"Three Ones" agreed by Donors and Developing countries

A landmark agreement promoting universal coordination in the fight against AIDS was adopted at a meeting held by UNAIDS, the UK and the US on 25 April 2004 in Washington D.C.

Donors, developing countries and UN agencies agreed to three core principles – known as the "Three Ones" - to better coordinate the scale up of national AIDS responses. The "Three Ones" principles are: one agreed HIV/AIDS action framework that provides the basis for coordinating the work of all partners; one national AIDS coordinating authority, with a broad based multi-sector mandate; and one agreed country-level monitoring and evaluation system.

"The "Three Ones" are not only raising more resources, but for making sure that these resources are spent wisely to help countries mount sustainable and effective AIDS strategies," said Dr Peter Piot, UNAIDS Executive Director.

To date, some AIDS programmes have been developed in isolation by well-intentioned donors, non-governmental organizations and others. Governments of heavily-affected countries have often had to deal with confusing and duplicative demands to show progress. "At the country level, governments are struggling to fight the AIDS epidemic, while rushing to respond to conflicting and often repetitive donor requirements," said the Malawi Minister of State responsible for HIV/AIDS, Honorable Mary Kaphweleza Banda.

Built on lessons learned from over two decades, the "Three Ones" will help improve the ability of donors and developing countries to work more effectively together, on a country by country basis.

"The UK, as the world’s second largest bilateral donor on HIV/AIDS, is firmly committed to the "Three Ones" principles for harmonising the efforts of donors in support of developing countries," said Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development.

"AIDS is an emergency that requires urgent action and a new way of doing business," said Ambassador Randall Tobias, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. "The agreement reached today will help all partners to exercise their comparative advantage in a manner that will enhance and not constrain our collective response."

"Three Ones" principles were first identified through a preparatory process at global and country levels, initiated by UNAIDS in cooperation with the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.