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Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network appoints new chair

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Posted: Friday, February 19, 2021. 1:41 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) held its 1st official handing over ceremony, where Patricia Minnis, Spouse of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, was officially appointed as the new Chairperson of the Network.

The event highlighted the work of SCLAN in the region since its inception and also provided an opportunity to bring together donors who shared their experience in supporting the network.

The network discussed the way forward to ensure continued advancement of the ‘Every Caribbean Women Every Caribbean Child’ (CARIWAC) initiative in an effort to safeguard the health and wellbeing of women and children in the Caribbean.

Kim Simplis Barrow – Outgoing Chair, commended the First Ladies for their unselfish service and stressed the importance of the organization’s work.

“Now, more than ever, we must ensure that prevention efforts are scaled up. Much has been done in our respective countries but we cannot afford to adopt an attitude of complacency; especially with the added threat of the COVID-19pandemic,” Barrow said.

SCLAN was formally established on 5 September 2017 at a meeting held in Belize City, Belize with the overarching goal of providing a framework where First Ladies could coordinate their efforts and use their platforms to advocate for and implement activities geared toward addressing areas of critical importance across the sub-region, namely, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, adolescent pregnancy, cervical cancer, and mental health.

Since its inception, SCLAN has received support from Gilead Sciences Inc., the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Spotlight Initiative, the British High Commission in Belize, and others to support both regional and international activities, including yearly side events which took place parallel to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as well as various pilot projects.

 In closing, Minnis thanked her fellow members for endorsing her appointment as Chairperson of the Network and pledged to maintain efforts in ensuring the health and wellbeing of women and children in the region.

 The new members on the Executive Board include Chair: Patricia Minnis, Spouse of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and Vice-Chair: Rossana Briceno, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize and Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children.

Additional Board Members include Eloise Gonsalves, Spouse of the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mellisa Santokhi Seenacherry, First Lady of the Republic of Suriname, and Sharon Rowley, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

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