Communications Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister, St Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis is being urged to consider reviewing some of the outdated laws and regulations that contribute toward stigma and discrimination against People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and that are contrary to the spirit of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to which all Caribbean Countries have committed.
His Excellency Dr. Edward Greene, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy for HIV, highlighted the role of human rights in reducing stigma and discrimination in his discussion on Tuesday with the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.
While in the Federation during his three-day visit, Dr. Greene also met with several stakeholders from the Christian Council, the Evangelic Association, Young Lawyers in Support of Human Rights, Youth Organisations, the Ministers of Health and Education and their staff, the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Sir K. Dwight Venner, the Ripple Foundation and other activists.
“It was agreed that the faith-based organisations and the youth groups would seek to come up with recommendations based on a series of consultations which would then result in a National Forum that would thereby seek to chart a national programme for accelerating the human rights agenda for HIV,” Dr. Greene told the Communications Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister (CUOPM).
He disclosed that it was also agreed that the national discussion must involve those who are most affected and would focus not only on legislative issues but also on creative ways of dealing with sexual education.
“Emphasis must also be placed on revamping the curricula on Health and Family Life Education, peer youth-to youth counseling, the greater use of the social media and the newer information technology, placing emphasis on gender issues in particular the abuse of young girls and the strategies to achieve the elimination of mother to child transmission by 2015,” said the UN Special Envoy.
In his role as UN Special Envoy, Dr. Greene is promoting the United Nations Declaration arising out of the UN High Level Meeting in New York in June 2010 and the Pan Caribbean Partnership 10th Anniversary Declaration 2010, which both deal with the issues of elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, increasing the access to care and treatment, and accelerating the human rights agenda.
Dr. Greene indicated that “the Caribbean has reached the stage where, working in collaboration with PANCAP and UNAIDS, it is possible to dream of the prospect of eliminating this disease. Indeed we could become the first region in the world to eliminate mother to child transmission but we need commitment and vigilance.”
Photo captions:UN Special Envoy His Excellency Dr. Edward Greene (right) and St. Kitts and Nevis' Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in talks on Tuesday. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)
UN Special Envoy His Excellency Dr. Edward Greene and representatives of youth organisations. (Photo by Pierre Liburd)