Regional Prevention Education Conference for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

26 April 2011

Representatives of ten countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia met to share experience and identify strategies to improve Prevention Education in the region.

On April 19-21 Almaty (Kazakhstan) hosted the Regional Prevention Education Conference. The conference gathered key experts, teacher training and preventive education specialists, representatives of civil society, youth NGOs, teacher unions, UN agencies, and international organizations involved in HIV and education. More than 70 participants from ten countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan shared experiences and identified strategies to improve effectiveness and expand coverage of comprehensive prevention education programmes.

The conference programme included the plenary sessions and group discussions. During the conference participants presented country reports on HIV Prevention Education prepared by Ministries of Education, and innovative approaches on HIV prevention, and monitoring and evaluation of prevention programmes. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss the education sectors responses to the HIV epidemic and other threats to young peoples health and wellbeing (drug use, other STIs) as well as activities for increasing effectiveness of Prevention Education in the countries of the region.

Three days of intensive work, interactive sessions, multi-media presentations and lively discussions made the Conference a notable and efficient event in the field of Prevention Education.

According to a participant from Kyrgyzstan: The conference was very important because it was the first timeint several years that we have shared experience and discussed means to increase effectiveness of Prevention Education in our countries. We do have the same history and we can assist each other.

The conference participants reconfirmed the leading role of the education sector in HIV primary prevention and acknowledged the need to work towards strategic global goals of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero new deaths.

The resolution adopted by the conference participants called on national governments, non-governmental and international organizations to ensure universal access to life skills based comprehensive HIV prevention and reproductive health education for adolescents and young people.

To support the Conference, a digest with conference materials and a resource kit with practical methodological materials and manuals was published.

The conference was organized by the UNESCO Cluster Offices in Almaty and Moscow in cooperation with UNAIDS Kazkahstan, UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, UNICEF, ILO, GIZ regional Office for Central Asia and the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan.

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