ICAAP12; A COMMUNITY BASED COMMUNITY LEAD CONGRESS: BE THE CHANGE FOR AN AIDS FREE GENERATION
17 June, 2015, ICAAP12 Secretariat, Dhaka, Bangladesh
The preparations towards hosting the 12th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP12) to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 20 to 23 November 2015 is in full swing. The proposed theme of Dhaka congress is ‘Be the change for an AIDS free generation’, which indeed highlights the global and regional needs for achieving an AIDS free generation through science, innovation, community involvement and public private partnership.
The response to this conference is tremendous. The congress is aiming to bring more than 3,500 delegates to Dhaka. More than 400 speakers are expected to speak in the conference. 26 Ministers of the developing countries shouldering portfolio related to health and relevant fields will host an inter-ministerial conference on “Every Women, Every Child and Every Adolescent. More than 200 high government officials and several UN mission heads and the international renowned personalities are expected to be present in the congress. UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, IOM, ILO, MSF and Save the Children have already shown significant interest and are working in close connection with the organizing team.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, People’s Republic of Bangladesh is playing the leading role while the intergovernmental alliance Partners in Population and Development (PPD) head quarter based in Dhaka is the co-host, providing secretariat support for ICAAP12. Community based civil society organizations namely ‘Bandhu’, STI/AIDS Network Bangladesh, PLHIV network and Sex Workers Network of Bangladesh are closely working with the organizing team. Representation from all these four community organizations is ensured in the EXCOM, the apex body for decision making.
The Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh is the Chief Patron and the Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is the patron of the LOC. A National Advisory Committee (NAC) is working under the leadership of the Honourable State Minister of MoHFW where renowned researchers, academicians, human rights organizers and development workers are contributing on their own accord. Moreover an International Advisory Committee (IAC) consisting of regional talents and international personalities with expertise in HIV is in process of formation.
To ensure effective participation of community, respective track including the Co-Chair, Sub-Committee Leads, and community representatives of the Executive Committee has been active in taking initiatives along with the Secretariat. On 9th and 10th June 2015, a Community Track Planning meeting was organized which brought together a large number of community members to ensure effective engagement at ICAAP12. The meeting was called by the Co-Chair, organized by the Secretariat and facilitated by Manuel Da Quinta of UNAIDS RST and Khun Chantawipa ‘Noi’ Apisut of Empower Foundation and ICAAP 11’s Community Track Chair. Khun Noi’s presence made the meeting more special, showing the support and strong friendship that exists in the community level of ICAAP 11 and ICAAP12.
Additionally, a two-day Abstract Development Workshop for local sex workers is being held at the Secretariat. Organized and supported by Sangram of India, purpose of this workshop is to ensure that their capacity is built enabling them to submit abstracts for ICAAP12. Another mentors training program will be held soon. Organizing committee requested the government for necessary support and to arrange scholarships for community group’s participation in the congress.
Bangladesh is considering the congress as an opportunity to demonstrate the low prevalence of HIV in the country to the wider international community. The congress will be indeed a learning opportunity for local experts/ NGOs/ Government and Academic Community.
The upcoming congress has already attracted investment through Arab Asia Investment Summit which will be held in the same venue simultaneously. It could also be mentioned that the congress will open the avenue for creating political platform to combat HIV and ‘Dhaka Declaration’ will be unfolded as a sign of political commitment.
Submission of abstract portal is already open and will receive abstracts until 1st of July (please visit the http://www.icaap2015.org/abstracts/abstracts#.VYEuZ1KfzIV for detail). Updates of preparations are available on the facebook page of ICAAP12 (https://www.facebook.com/icaap12).
For more Information please visit https://www.facebook.com/icaap12
Media contact: Masuma Billah/ Aneeqa R Ahmad at ICAAP12 Secretariat, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com