The summit started off with welcoming remarks by the Chairman for PNG Christian Leaders Alliance in HIV and Aids, His Eminence, Sir John Cardinal Ribat.
Cardinal Ribat said one of the great intentions for the HIV Summit is to bring the Head of Churches together so that they are able to speak about this virus that is causing danger to our lives in this nation and that they work together, be one voice in advocating care, peace and unity.
“Today is one moment where we can share this intention and talk about it and work towards promoting it in future,” he said.
Cardinal Ribat said he was more than humbled to see the Heads of Churches in the summit today.
“It is indeed a milestone for PNG Christian Leaders Alliance for HIV and Aids to stage this historical national event.
“The summit is the first of its kind for the country and there it is our hope and prayer that the desired outcomes of this summit are collectively achieved through the active involvement and participation of all Head of Churches.”
He said it is also a time for us to learn about the current HIV situation in our nation; regional and global level and to see where the response gaps are and how churches can respond to addressing those gaps.
“It is a time for us to discuss on the sensitive issues such as Gender Based Violence (GBV), stigma and discrimination, human rights, access to service and issue affect the population in PNG.”
He added that it also a time for us to make a proactive way forward and make recommendations on how the Christian churches in PNG can respond in addressing the root causes of HIV transmission and sensitive issues associated with it.
The first HIV Summit for PNG Heads of Churches for PNG Christian Leaders Alliance in HIV and Aids will continue tomorrow.