Spotlight Initiative holds high-level meeting with the Government of Belize

July 23, 2021

SAN IGNACIO, Belize — The Spotlight Initiative held a high-level meeting with the Government of Belize on 23 July 2021 at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The objective of the meeting was to align the Women’s and Families Agenda within Plan Belize to the United Nations (UN) Women’s and Families Agenda and identify strategies for strengthening and accelerating the implementation of the Spotlight Initiative.

In her opening remarks, Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families & Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, as Co-Chair of the National Steering Committee, mentioned that the issue of violence, including gender-based violence (GBV), dishonours women and girls and that the “measure of any country is how we treat our women and girls, and most vulnerable people.”

Birgit Gerstenberg, UN Resident Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Committee, said the meeting was a space to “listen to the government and see their main points of commitment and how the Spotlight Initiative can support their efforts.”

H.E. Marianne Van Steen, Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas, said political ownership and commitment to finding solutions to the problem of family violence were crucial for the success of current efforts. “We see this programme as an opportunity to spotlight the issues of family violence and GBV because too often, not only in Belize but in the world, it is an issue that remains continuously in the dark,” she said.

High-level government officials, as well as policy and decision-makers responsible for leading the implementation of various areas of Plan Belize, attended the meeting. Key recommendations from the meeting included the development of a Cabinet information paper on Spotlight Initiative to include its contribution to the Women’s and Families Agenda and increased commitment and collaboration of respective Ministries. Participants also recognized the need to identify gender advocates from line ministries to support the continuous partnership within the programme and for ongoing dialogue with civil society partners, including the civil society national reference group (CSNRG).

For more information, please contact:
Perla Hinojosa
Office of the UN Resident Coordinator - Belize
Spotlight Initiative Communication Officer
Phone: (+501) 613-1048

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