Parliamentarians across the region gathered in Jamaica on Tuesday, 30th May, for a two-day conference focusing on significantly halving the HIV/AIDS epidemic across the Caribbean region.
The two-day conference, organised by the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), saw over 40 parliamentarians meeting to discuss the role of parliamentarians in contributing to the ending of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The grouping of parliamentarians focused on several issues including the United Nations (UN, Political Declaration on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030; and the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of all ages.
According to Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, CARICOM Secretariat; a regional approach in combating the AIDS epidemic is necessary, given the enormity of the challenges for any one small country of the Caribbean.
Dr. Slater noted that a consensus on a regional approach to combating the epidemic in needed and greater collaboration, will position key stakeholders to continue to accelerate the human development agenda.
Addressing the issue of legislative reform across member states of the Caribbean Community, Dr. Slater cautioned that the region has made very little progress in legal reforms for key populations.
“I challenge you to focus on reforms to eliminate the stigma for all, including the LGBTI community. As parliamentarians you have the responsibility to represent the human rights of all sectors,” Dr. Slater said.
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