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June 11, 2020
Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from the Americas and the Caribbean participate in an online meeting on sustainable responses for a post COVID-19 economic recovery

On Thursday, June 11, 47 parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from 13 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean gathered virtually to engage with experts and discuss legislative and public policy responses that promote sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19, while considering the gendered impacts of the pandemic and promoting the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

The meeting was opened with remarks from Member of the National Assembly Elizabeth Cabezas (Ecuador), President of ParlAmericas, sharing “Although this pandemic constitutes a tragedy, we can choose to remember it as that, or we can see it as a great opportunity that allows us to think about the future. We can legislate to improve these structures that currently make us so vulnerable and above all, we can think about entering the future with a country with better foundations and a better society, because the world will not be the same after this COVID-19 pandemic.” The Honourable Alincia Williams-Grant, President of the Senate (Antigua and Barbuda), moderated the dynamic session and emphasized, “This pandemic has exacerbated the existing social vulnerabilities and inequalities and for that reason is disproportionately affecting women. For recovery efforts to be effective, women must be at the forefront of decision-making and climate considerations such as resilience against disasters must be integrated into recovery efforts to ensure a secure future for vulnerable communities.”

The meeting featured presentations from Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); Diane Quarles, Chief of Economic Commission for the Latin American and Caribbean (ECLAC) Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean; Monika Queisser, Head of Social Policy Division of the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager of the Country Department Caribbean Group of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The presentations highlighted the current and projected economic impacts of COVID-19 in the region with a special focus on the differential impacts on women. Moreover, the panellists noted recovery strategies that could be implemented by governments to ensure responses are inclusive, gender-sensitive, and environmentally sustainable.

The dialogue was enriched through a series of interventions by parliamentarians, allowing for a sharing of good practices and further deliberation on the presentations. The webinar concluded with remarks from Senator Saphire Longmore (Jamaica), ParlAmericas Board Member.

For further information on the work of ParlAmericas, visit and follow @ParlAmericas on social media.