Regional Meeting Of Parlimentarians Of Latin American & The Caribbean & UN Regional Entities Ends

Drs. Gracita R. Arrindell, Member of Parliament recently back from attending the Regional meeting of Parliamentarians together with MP Sylvia Olivacci- Meyers held in Panama from November 25th to 27th stated; the three day conference was not only a meeting to assess the progress and remaining obstacles of the development agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was also meant to see in practice to what extent having more women and men committed to equality in their respective parliaments can be a tool to speed up the transformative development agenda".


"Gracita commented: "the UNWomen, United Nations Population Fund, (UNFPA), United Nations Development Program ( UNDP), Parliament of Latin America and the Caribbean ( Parlatino) and the Inter American Parliamentary Group on Population Development (IAP) joint approach to build and support a network that would encourage parliaments to approve laws and encourage governments to have as a priority on the public policy agenda human rights and gender perspective which will contribute to the process of economic development and social justice".

"the resolution established among others that: "most countries have very advanced and comprehensive legislation on violence against women, yet an alarming incidence of violence and crime throughout the region remains, the acceptance of violence against women, along with institutional inaction, have resulted in difficulties in applying these laws and alarming levels of impunity that have placed Latin American and Caribbean Women at a considerable disadvantage."

"In reference to the institutional inaction of for example the judiciary and the police, as brought forward by several attendees, they were encouraged by the information I shared during the discussions, that the public prosecutor’s office in Sint Maarten, has established a pro active policy approach by continuing with the prosecution of a case of domestic violence once submitted, even when the victim retracts the request to prosecute.


"The alarming high rate of teenage pregnancy is an area which also must be dealt with effectively in Latin America and the Caribbean as this region has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy after Sub Saharan Africa according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

"The conference also established that: "in spite of the fact that women have achieved only 21% of parliamentary seats in Latin America and the Caribbean, a larger presence is essential to ensure the exercise of the rights of women and improve the democratic systems of the countries, which also results in positive effects on the development agendas of countries to include new themes and interest that were absent from the political agenda." We too must work harder to encourage more women and gender equality minded men in public office. Only 30% of women form part of the Parliament of of our new Country.

In closing: we were happy of the opportunity not only to participate and make a meaningful contribution to the Conference. I was also great full for the opportunity to share briefly the objective of the Peridot Foundation as a non- profit organization when the issue of the need to raise much needed funds in combating violence against women and children was brought forward. My statements received not only support but also commitment to bring forward our message though the relevant institutions of the United Nation vast network. In this regard it was an honor to meet and speak with several UNWOMEN representatives including one of the Key note speakers, Mrs. Amina J. Mohammed, Assistant-Secretary General and Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning. A brief TV interview was also provided when asked to UNWOMEN.