The Organization of American States (OAS) and Chile recently signed a Letter of Intent to strengthen capacities in the area of violence against women in the Eastern Caribbean.
OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, said combating violence against women is among the priority areas for the hemispheric organization as evidenced by the follow-up provided to the Convention of Belem do Para, the agreement signed in l994 by the countries of the hemisphere to protect women’s human rights and eliminate cases of violence against them.
“The problem still exists, but we are working very hard to reduce it,” he said, adding that “it is very important that we continue providing technical assistance to countries to improve their legislation” in order to address the problem with better legal instruments.
Chile’s Foreign Affairs Minister Alfredo Moreno, said that his country has enjoyed a good relationship with the English-speaking Caribbean and recently made a US$1 million contribution for social development in the region.
He said $113,000 of the funds would be used to strengthen capacity in the area of combating violence against women in the Eastern Caribbean.
‘The ability of Caribbean countries to act together with the international community and to create a common market of 16 million people is a lesson for all of use,” said Moreno, making reference to the regional integration movement, CARICOM.
Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS Deborah-Mae Lovell said the signed Letter of Intent “is another example of the government of Chile’s partnership with the Caribbean” and stressed the important role played by the OAS in the efforts to address issues of “common concern.”
The project will benefit Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.