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Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador To The United States Attends IACML In El Salvador

WASHINGTON, DC – Ambassador Dr. Neil Parsan, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to the United States, Mexico and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States was part of a delegation headed by The Honorable Minister of Labour and Small and Micro-Enterprises Development, Mr. Errol Mc Leod to the XVII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML) held in San Salvador on October 31 and November 1, of 2011. The theme of this year’s conference was “Advancing economic and social recovery with suitable development, decent work and social inclusion”.

The Inter-American Conference of the Ministries of Labor (IACML) is the oldest sectoral conference of the Organization of American States (OAS). Since 1963 the Ministries of Labor of the hemisphere gather periodically in this Conference, which is considered as the main forum in the Hemisphere for discussion and decision-making regarding policy priorities and actions on labor issues. The IACML guarantees the participation of workers and employers through its two advisory bodies: the Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE) and the Business Technical Advisory Committee on Labor Matters (CEATAL).

The Action Plan coming out of this year’s deliberations included policies and procedures for sustainable development with decent work for a new era of social justice as well as
strengthening Ministries of Labor to promote decent work and social inclusion.

In the framework of the 17th Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor, the first inter-ministerial high-level dialogue among the highest government authorities on labor and women’s affairs from the Member States of the OAS was held. Trinidad and Tobago’s delegation was headed in this instance by Senator Verna St. Rose, Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development.

The dialogue issued policy and program recommendations to make progress on the rights of women and gender equality in the context of decent work.

According to the definition of the International Labor Organization, decent work includes four objectives: to create work; guarantee the rights of workers; extend social protection; and promote social dialogue. During the dialogue in San Salvador was launched the Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM) study “Advancing gender equality in the context of decent work,” which indicates that gender equality is a fundamental component of each one of these objectives.

The results of this high-level dialogue secured the presence of gender equality and women’s rights on the agenda of Inter-American Conferences of Ministers of Labor, and they will contribute to ensure that women can participate in a full and equal way in the world of labor in the Americas.

These deliberations are consistent with the agenda of the Honorable Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago as it relates to the greater role of women in all spheres of development. This included taking forward the theme of ‘Women as Agents of Change’ in this the centenary year of International Women’s Day. Starting with Commonwealth Day in March 2011, to the first Organization of American States’ hemispheric forum on women’s leadership in April 2011, to the Caribbean Regional Colloquium on ‘Women Leaders as Agents of Change’ in June 2011. Trinidad and Tobago under the stewardship of the Honorable Prime Minister has also mobilised international support to convene the UN General Assembly Side Event on ‘Women’s Political Participation’.

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