CARICOM reaffirms it commitment to ending the HIV epidemicListen /
The Caribbean Community –CARICOM joined speakers from more than 30 countries to reaffirm their commitment to ending the HIV epidemic, pledging to focus on high-risk populations and to build shared responsibility for achieving targets outlined in the 2011 Political Declaration.
Speaking on behalf of CARICOM, the representative of Suriname Ambassador Henry MacDonald noted that for the past 11 years, the region's response to HIV and AIDS has been articulated through the Pan Caribbean Partnership on HIV and AIDS – PANCAP. He said PANCAP remains an international best practice as the Caribbean is the only region in the world, where a governance mechanism is in place to leverage the engagement of governments, regional civil society, including people living with HIV and vulnerable communities, UN partners such as UNAIDS and PAHO as well as international development partners.
Henry MacDonald: CARICOM countries and other regional states and partners reaffirmed the region's commitment to the 2010 PANCAP Declaration which identified major targets to be achieved by the Caribbean by 2015. These targets coincide with the Political Declaration and include: eliminating new infections among children, increasing access to care and treatment by 80%, reducing new infections by 50%, and accelerating the programme of human rights for people living with HIV, including the elimination of travel restrictions. The Caribbean as also led efforts to ensure that HIV and AIDS are retained as a key issue on the post 2015 development agenda. Women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by the epidemic which has a significant impact on social and economic development.
NAR: Ambassador Mc Donald noted that CARICOM countries took the lead to raise awareness of the impact of Non-Communicable Diseases on development. And he said that over the past year, they've begun to identify the policy and programmatic nexus between HIV and chronic non-communicable diseases to increase the efficiency of resources allocated and to obtain greater results.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.