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MoBay hosting international parliamentary confab

Saturday, March 29, 2014    

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JAMAICA will, for the first time, host the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas (COPA), and the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of the Americas.

Parliamentarians and other political figures from the region and various countries in the Americas will converge at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St James from March 29 to 30 for the meetings, which are in their 27th year.

The fora will provide the opportunity for the country to showcase its tourism product and strengthen international relations, while discussing critical issues.

Highlighting planned activities at a JIS Think Tank session on Wednesday, minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams said that the meetings will include presentations and discussions focusing on the promotion of gender equality through the network of parliamentarians; options for strengthening economic relations between the nations; and investment opportunities from the Logistics Hub initiative.

The state minister said that over the weekend various sub-committees of COPA will lead discussions and make presentations on expanding trade partnerships and trade base; the technological sphere and increasing technology through education; health, social protection; increasing health access; and strengthening rural development; and sustaining economies, among nations.

Today, at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of the Americas, there will be two major presentations on 'Violence against Women and the Monitoring Framework to Reduce the Incidence' by lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Dr Leith Dunn.

Co-Founder/director of the BASE Foundation Shauna Fuller Clarke will make a presentation on awareness and support for endometriosis.

The day's proceedings will close with a 'Jamaica Night' reception at the Rose Hall Great House, hosted by Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peart.

Tomorrow's proceedings will commence with the opening ceremony of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of COPA. The meeting will follow with presentations on the Jamaica Logistics Hub initiative by Ffolkes-Abrahams.

Nadeen Spence of the Young Women's Leadership Initiative will make a presentation on 'Opportunities for Young Persons to enter the Political Arena'.

"We want to showcase Jamaica in terms of parliamentary democracy and a tradition that the rest of the world can benefit from so we are hoping for greater collaborations between all of the nations on all of the issues that face us commonly and create methods to solve them," Minister Ffolkes-Abrahams noted.

The Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas (COPA) has three distinct secretariats, respectively, at the Congress of the Mexican Union, the House of Deputies of Brazil, and the National Assembly of Québec. The Secretariat in Mexico acts as the organisation's executive secretariat.

The tasks of the organisation are allocated among the three secretariats, with each responsible for developing and maintaining relations with a certain number of the continent's parliamentary assemblies. Members of COPA include: Jamaica,

Belize, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and

the Grenadines.

— JIS

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