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Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings by admin | 29 May 2006 | Release Ref #: 101/2006 | 2037

    (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Approximately 50 representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-coordinated Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) will attend the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS on May 31 to June 2, at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.

    The PANCAP/CARICOM delegation is headed by Dr. the Hon. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and CARICOM Head of Government with responsibility for Human Resources, Health and HIV/AIDS. It also includes Ministers of Health from The Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados and a cross-section of officials of national HIV/AIDS programmes and other agencies across the Caribbean.

    Issues on the agenda of this session, which is a follow-up meeting to the Twenty-Sixth Special Session held in 2001: Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, include a progress report by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the targets agreed by UN member states in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. Also high on the agenda are common challenges to increasing and sustaining national AIDS responses and recommendations to intensify HIV prevention , treatment, care and support with the aim of coming as close as possible to the goal of universal access to treatment by 2010.

    Among the key issues to be tabled by the CARICOM/PANCAP delegation are long term and predictable financing for an effective response; prevention; human rights, stigma, discrimination and gender equity, human resource capacity and political commitment and leadership.

    These issues are the outcomes of a process of national and regional consultations facilitated by UNAIDS and PANCAP which took place between January and February 2006 and involved more than 250 stakeholders drawn from governments, non-governmental organisations, Civil Society, the donor community and representatives of PLWA. The aim of the consultative process, which culminated with a regional meeting in Jamaica, was to identify solutions to the major obstacles blocking comprehensive and integrated increase of prevention, treatment, care and support services.

    The ultimate objective of this process is to develop nationally agreed plans for building greater coverage of services for prevention, care and treatment by 2010.