Thursday, December 6, 2012

Prime Minister Holds Bilateral Talks with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Liliana Ayalde

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs from the U.S. State Department Liliana Ayalde and a U.S. delegation held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Wednesday.

The T&T delegation comprised Minister of National Security Jack Warner, Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran and Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs Senator Kevin Ramnarine.

Ayalde is in Port of Spain to participate in the Caribbean Security Basin Initiative (CBSI) talks at the Hyatt, which opened on Wednesday morning.

Persad-Bissessar held the discussion after she delivered the opening address. The talks focused on areas of regional security, the CBSI and the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas Initiative (WEAmericas) in particular, among other issues.

After the meeting Ambassador Ayalde announced that 26 projects in 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as two regional projects, have been selected to receive more than US$1.5 million through WEAmericas, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton’s International Fund for Women and Girls, and the Walmart Foundation.

She also announced that one of the grant winners is Trinidad and Tobago’s own Junior Achievement. The CEO of Junior Achievement, J. Errol Lewis, was present at the media gathering in recognition of this success.

In April 2012 at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia U.S. Clinton launched WEAmericas after President Obama announced the initiative, which involves public-private partnerships.

It aims to increase women’s economic participation and address three key barriers facing women: access to training and networks, access to markets and access to finance.

The Prime Minister noted that WEAmericas resonates with her own call for public-private collaboration to advance women’s economic empowerment and participation.

Earlier this year, in recognition of International Women’s Day and its theme “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty” the Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to ensuring that all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago have equal access to opportunities regardless of gender, and called for the private sector to partner with the Government to this end.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has fully recognised that the empowerment of women is critical to socio-economic progress and the only way to achieve sustainable development. Investing in the women-owned SMEs is widely acknowledged as one of the best ways to simultaneously achieve economic, financial and social impact.

The Prime Minister applauded the efforts of WEAmericas and its focus on furthering economic opportunities for rural and indigenous women and on systems to support women’s entrepreneurship throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. The Prime Minister went on to extend warm congratulations to Junior Achievement for their outstanding work in promoting this key initiative.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai