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Spotlight Initiative hosts an inaugural multi-stakeholder meeting

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Posted: Friday, February 26, 2021. 2:29 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Spotlight Initiative hosted its inaugural meeting for the National Multistakeholder Steering Committee.

The initiative marked a significant milestone as it is the highest level of coordination that stipulates national-level strategic policy direction and mobilizes resources for eliminating violence against women and girls (VAWG).

During the meeting, key results for 2020 were discussed as well as steps forward for 2021 which led to the unanimous approval by all members of the Annual Work Plan 2021.

The meeting was co-chaired by Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families & Indigenous Peoples’, and Birgit Gerstenberg, UN Resident Coordinator to Belize and El Salvador who extended their appreciation to the committee and their commitment to the initiative.

Marianne Van Steen, Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands gave the opening remarks where she highlighted the European Union’s support for multilateralism and partnership with all who contribute to the initiative.

Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, Rosanna Briceno was present and extended her gratitude for collaboration.

Members from the Civil Society National Reference Group, who support advocacy for CSOs and women’s rights groups, were also in attendance.

The Government of Belize representatives on the committee included Chief Executive Officers from the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples Affairs’, Ministry of Finance, Economic Development & Investment, Ministry of Education, Culture & Technology, Ministry of Youth, Sports and E-Governance, Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries, Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour & Local Government, and Ministry of Health & Wellness.

The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of family violence and VAWG embarked by the European Union and the United Nations.

The initiative brings focused attention to this issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the center of efforts to achieve gender equity and equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The efforts began in Belize in January 2020 and have included implementing activities that strengthen policy and legislation to increase the protection of women and girls, build the capacity of state and non-state actors to respond to family violence, expand the range of services available, and address social norms and behaviors that promote violence against women and girls.

 The modality for the delivery in Belize is with the support of the Government of Belize, EU, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Recipient United Nations Organizations (RUNOs) – UNDP, UNFPA, and UNICEF – with the support of UN Associate Agencies – UN Women, ILO, PAHO/WHO, UNHCR, and OCHCR.

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