Monday, September 4 2017 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, will relaunch the PANCAP Champions for Change initiative after an eleven-year hiatus. The two-day event will be held from Tuesday, September 12 to Wednesday, September 13 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana. The keynote speaker will be the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Originally launched in 2004, the Forum will include a wide cross section of PANCAP members, partners and stakeholders engaged in discussions around the theme ‘Champions for change IV: ending AIDS by 2030’. During the event, over fifteen (15) champions will be identified from among the participants, which include civil society organisations, National AIDS Programme Managers, faith leaders, academia, the private sector, youth, regional parliamentarians and other advocates for HIV awareness.
‘Champions for Change IV will seek to align the expected contributions of the Champions for Change with international and regional commitments for ending AIDS’ stated Director of PANCAP, Mr Dereck Springer, ‘these include the UN High Level Meeting Political Declaration (June 2016); the Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016), the PANCAP Justice for All Roadmap (2015/2016) and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Director further explained that the relaunched initiative will seek to assess the impact of recommendations for overcoming barriers to ending AIDS identified by major international and collaborating agencies, including the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Participants of Champions for Change IV will also discuss recommendations from the recent PANCAP consultations of Faith Leaders (February 2017), National AIDS Programme Managers and Key Partners Meeting (March 2017), Meeting of Youth Leaders: Sexual and Reproductive Health (April 2017), Regional Parliamentarians Forum (May 2017), and other related initiatives such as the Caribbean First Ladies/Spouses championing the ‘Every Caribbean Woman Every Caribbean Child’ Initiative (February 2017).
PANCAP intends to utilize the relaunched initiative to create achievable targets, goals and timelines that will guide the new champions in their advocacy and HIV awareness implementation with the overarching aim of significantly contributing to the end of AIDS by 2030.