The Organization of American States (OAS) and the government of Chile have signed a letter of intent to strengthen capacities in the area of violence against women in the countries of the Eastern Caribbean, among which are OAS member states Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The secretary general of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, stressed that work against this scourge is one of the priorities of the organization, as evidenced by the follow-up provided to the Convention of Belém do Pará, the agreement signed in 1994 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,” said Insulza, 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.
The minister of foreign affairs of Chile, Alfredo Moreno, highlighted the ties of cooperation between the Anglophone Caribbean and his country, among which he mentioned the recent contribution of one million dollars for social development in the Caribbean countries, of which $113,000 will be aimed at strengthening 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 us," said Moreno, referring to CARICOM (the Caribbean Community).
Meanwhile, Deborah-Mae Lovell, the permanent representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS, said, "CARICOM thanks the government of Chile for their continued assistance for social development."
Lovell said that 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 signing agreement took place at the residence of the Ambassador of Chile to the United States, Felipe Bulnes, and was attended by numerous diplomatic representatives of the Caribbean and the executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM).