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Trinidad and Tobago National Faith Leaders ConsultationFaith leaders to establish main goals for inter-religious faith leaders network in Trinidad and Tobago with emphasis on contributing to the end of AIDS

February 14, 2019

Thursday, 14 February 2019 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) in collaboration with the National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) in the Office of the Prime Minister, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with funding from the CARIFORUM 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme of Support for Wider Caribbean Cooperation will host the National Faith Leaders Consultation in Trinidad and Tobago on 15 February 2019.

The Consultation forms part of a series of engagements with faith leaders in Trinidad and Tobago under the PANCAP Justice for All (JFA) programme. It will facilitate the development of an action plan for advancing faith leaders’ implementation of key elements of the JFA. Participants will include 40 faith leaders representing both the Faith-Based Network of Trinidad and Tobago (FBNTT) and the Inter-religious Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (IRO).

The action plan will include but is not limited to the establishment of the main goals for the religious community in Trinidad and Tobago. The action plan is geared towards ending AIDS and providing psychosocial support to those infected and affected by HIV. It will also identify the lessons learned for ending AIDS.  Participants will also be engaged in establishing recommendations for improving the collaboration between the religious community and the NACC and setting priorities and timelines for achieving goals.

Speakers scheduled for the Consultation include Ms. Monica Paul-McLean, Programme Manager, External Relations, Delegation of European Union to Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Ian Ramdahin, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (NACC), Ms. Heather Rodney, Manager, HIV Workplace Advocacy Unit, Ministry of Labour, representative National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC); Pastor Winston Mansingh, President, Faith-based Network of Trinidad and Tobago; Pundit Lutchmidath Persad Maharaj, 1st Vice President, Inter-religious Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (IRO) and Mr. Vivian Rookhum, Senior Project Officer ,10th EDF Project.

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What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximize efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

  • 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme of Support for Wider Caribbean Cooperation

Under the 10th (EDF) Programme of Support for Wider Caribbean Cooperation, PANCAP will strengthen coordination on human rights issues in keeping with the Justice For all Roadmap through the HIV and AIDS Thematic Task Force in CARIFORUM.

  • CARIFORUM

CARIFORUM refers to the Grouping of Caribbean States which are signatories of the Georgetown Agreement establishing the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The ACP grouping is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

CARIFORUM is the recipient of and manages the implementation of Caribbean Regional Indicative Programmes financed by the EDF and Caribbean regional programmes financed by individual Member States of the European Union. It also provides technical assistance to agencies/institutions implementing projects under these programmes.

  • European Union

The Member States of the European Union have decided to combine their expertise, resources and destinies. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

Background to the PANCAP Justice for All (JFA) Roadmap

The PANCAP Justice for All (JFA) Programme was established in September 2013 as a regional response to the UN High-Level Political Declaration (June 2011) designed to reduce AIDS-related stigma and discrimination. The objectives of the JFA Roadmap are:

  • Enhancing family life and focusing on those in need
  • Increasing access to treatment and affordable medicines
  • Reducing gender inequality including violence against women, girls and adolescents
  • Promoting prevention with special reference to sexual and reproductive health and rights including age-appropriate sexual education
  • Implementing legislative reforms for modifying AIDS-related stigma and discrimination

National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC)

The National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) is a multi-sectoral co-ordination committee which includes participation of major stakeholder groups such as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Key Population Advocates (KPAs), Trade Unions, government, international and regional agencies, academic and private sector organisations. The NACC was re-launched in December 2016 to coordinate the national multisectoral response, set priorities, goals and targets, advise and guide the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on HIV and AIDS Policy.

Faith-Based representation on the NACC comes from both the Inter-religious Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (IRO) and the Faith-Based Network of Trinidad and Tobago.