Declaration of Commitment: Champions for Change II

A Declaration of Commitment by Faith-Based Organisations to reduce Stigma and Discrimination against People Living with, and Affected by HIV/AIDS, issued on the occasion of the Champions for Change II: Regional Conference of Faith-Based Organisations to Reduce Stigma and Discrimination, Georgetown, Guyana

22-23 November 2005

DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT

By

Faith-Based Organisations to reduce Stigma and Discrimination against People Living with, and Affected by HIV/AIDS, issued on the occasion of the Champions for Change II: Regional Conference of Faith-Based Organisations to Reduce Stigma and Discrimination,

Georgetown, Guyana

22-23 November 2005

PREAMBLE

We, the Leaders and Representatives of the Faith-Based Organisations (Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Rastafarian) at the Champions for Change II Regional Conference held in Georgetown, Guyana on 22-23 November 2005, in full support of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS,

DECLARATION

Declare that –

In as much as we have noted the impact of HIV/AIDS and, in particular, Stigma and Discrimination on individuals/families/communities living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and recognising the critical role we can play in affirming humankind and in adding to the quality of life in our communities;

We will continue to lift our voices against stigma and discrimination in order to break down barriers between People and within Institutions;

We commit ourselves at the leadership and other levels to stay informed about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to inform our membership in order to strengthen our response;

We also commit ourselves to cooperate with and actively support governmental, non-governmental and other agencies, in collaboration with People Living with HIV/AIDS, in efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS and to provide care, support and treatment to People Infected with, and affected by HIV/AIDS;

We affirm that we will constantly reflect on the moral, spiritual and ethical issues raised by the pandemic; clarify and interpret these issues in their local context; and offer guidance to those confronted by difficult choices at the personal and programmatic levels;

We will engage the emerging theological and educational developments at a time when HIV/AIDS is an immanent threat to all;

We will also engage our respective Faith-Based Organisations in at least one programme or action which will contribute to victory over this pandemic;

We nominate the Caribbean Conference of Churches, in collaboration with CARICOM/PANCAP, to establish a working committee to carry forward the elements of the Plan of Action arising from the Champions for Change II Regional Conference.

We, the Champions for Change, resolve to fulfill the commitments made in this Declaration.

Georgetown, Guyana

23 November 2005

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