We, the leaders of the Caribbean broadcast media, gathered in Bridgetown on this 10th day of May 2006, inspired by the UN Secretary General’s call to action under the Global Media AIDS Initiative, acknowledge that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a threat to humankind and an urgent impediment to the future prospects and wellbeing of all our nations, undermining our efforts to build social capital and strong economic systems in our countries.
Convinced that media have a critical role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS and that Caribbean broadcasters can make a unique and important contribution to HIV/AIDS information dissemination, awareness, behaviour change, and care and support in our countries and communities, we therefore make the following commitments:
- Develop policies, strategies and structures to ensure integration of HIV/AIDS as a core business priority, and to designate staff, accountable to the General Manager, with responsibility for managing the company’s commitment per this Declaration;
- Integrate HIV/AIDS communication across various program genres, including entertainment, news and public service, new media platforms, and special events;
- Provide for dedicated and substantial television and radio broadcast airtime for HIV/AIDS-related communication;
- Consult with HIV/AIDS stakeholders – including people living with HIV/AIDS, civil society representatives, and members of the scientific and medical communities – to ensure that messaging, content and context are relevant, accurate, effectively communicated and culturally appropriate;
- Engage with regional institutions and partnerships, national governments and HIV/AIDS programmes and other in-country groups to coordinate with and complement regional and national HIV/AIDS campaigns.
To give effect to the aforementioned pledges, we further commit to an ongoing collaborative partnership with our fellow Caribbean broadcasters – to be known as the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS, with technical and coordination support from the Caribbean Broadcasting Union. The Partnership will have the following objectives:
- To develop a concrete collaborative workplan and timeline that is results-oriented, measurable and accountable to the Partnership’s members.
- To provide increased and sustained communication, education, research and information-sharing with regard to HIV/AIDS programming.
- To develop shared editorial policies and quality assurance guidelines on HIV/AIDS programming.
- To share HIV/AIDS programming either rights-free and cost-free or reduced cost to other broadcasters in order to extend reach and influence.
- To create opportunities for co-production and multi-country production of HIV/AIDS programming.
- To collaborate and forge strategic partnerships to mobilize resources for regional projects and co-productions in a way that is transparent, accountable and has clear goals.
- To continually monitor and develop new strategies for communication designed to reach youth and other especially vulnerable populations.
- To expand our Partnership to reflect the diverse communities and media platforms across the region, including advertisers and production houses.
Lastly we, Caribbean broadcast leaders gathered in Bridgetown on the 10th day of May 2006, commit to holding ourselves and our organizations accountable for the pledges contained therein and for that purpose to meet again at the executive level in no more than 12 months from the date of the Declaration.