The Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) in partnership the Institute of the First Lady of the Republic of Suriname along with the United Nations Foundation, UNFPA, and UNICEF held a side event in the margins of The Forty- Third Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Suriname on July 5, 2022. The event was held under the theme, Advancing the SDGs.
H.E. Mrs. Mellisa Santokhi – Seenacherry, the First Lady of the Republic of Suriname and Vice-Chair of SCLAN opened the event on behalf of SCLAN stating “To promote mental health and fight cervical cancer, we can take responsibility together, each from our own leadership position. We from the Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network are ready to act with you and other stakeholders to improve the quality of life of every citizen in our Caribbean region.”
H.E. Mrs. Briceño Spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize and Chair of SCLAN delivered the keynote address. She spoke about the value of partnerships in overcoming the challenges and noted “As we respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we must have a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive, and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics and the many developmental challenges that come our way.”
Representatives of UN agencies that included UNDP, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF, and PAHO/WHO participated in a panel to discuss the current situation on SCLAN’s work in gender equality, cervical cancer, mental health, HIV/AIDS, adolescent pregnancy, and the solutions for countries to advocate for greater investment for women and children.
The event closed with actionable steps that Spouses and First Ladies from across the Caribbean can implement in their respective countries.