Under the theme Leadership through Partnership, the CARICOM-led Pan Caribbean
Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) will hold its Fourth Annual General
Meeting on 21-22 October 2004, in Barbados
The Meeting, which focuses on an accelerated agenda for care and treatment
and the increasing availability of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) for people living
with HIV/AIDs (PLWHA) will, among other issues, review progress and challenges
in the regional fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. In this regard, a progress
report on the activities of PANCAP, including those in the Law, Ethics and Human
Rights and the Information and Communication Programmes will be reviewed.
The operations of the PANCAP Coordinating Unit and proposals for its
involvement in capacity building activities to enhance the implementation of the
HIV/AIDS response at the regional and national levels will also be discussed.
Other issues on the Agenda include developments in relation to the merger of
the Implementation Unit of the Strengthening Institutional Regional (SIRHASC)
Project with the PANCAP Coordinating Unit; and engagement with donor partners.
In this latter regard, donor partners will discuss the major issues related to
their sponsored activities and make suggestions on methods for enhanced
collaboration as PANCAP accelerates implementation of the priority areas
detailed in the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF).
The Caribbean has the second highest HIV/AIDs prevalence globally with some
500,000 people living with the virus. PANCAP was launched at the Twelfth Inter-Sessional
Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in February 2001 in response to concerns
about the serious threat of HIV/AIDS to the Caribbean. The Partnership advocates
for HIV/AIDS issues through governments, mobilises resources to address the
epidemic and coordinates HIV/AIDS activities.
PANCAP's achievements in its four years of existence include: successful
negotiations for reduced prices for ARVs; mobilisation and award of resources
for HIV/AIDS activities including those from the World Bank; the Global Fund
Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the German government through KFW.
Other achievements include: training of Caribbean professionals, continued
education of communities to deal with HIV/AIDS, and development of strategies to
reduce discrimination against persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
A number of CARICOM Ministers of Health are slated to attend this meeting,
including: Hon. John Maginley, Antigua and Barbuda; Hon. John Rachel, Trinidad
and Tobago; Hon. Damien Greaves, St. Lucia; Hon. John Junor, Jamaica; and Dr.
the Hon. Douglas Slater, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Under the chairmanship of CARICOM Secretariat Assistant Secretary-General for
Human and Social Development, Dr. Edward Greene, the two-day meeting begins with
an Opening Ceremony at the Grand Barbados Beach Resort, where remarks will be
given by the Hon. Jerome Walcott, Barbados Minister of Health and Ambassador
Lolita Applewhaite, Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM.
The keynote address will be delivered by Sir George Alleyne, United Nations
Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for the Caribbean, while remarks will be delivered via
video by Dr. the Hon. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and
Chairman of PANCAP, as well as Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS.
A special feature of this meeting is the launch of the book Education and
HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean by Professors. Michael Kelly and Brendon Bain, during
the closing session on Friday, 22 October.
Ms. Volderine Hackett