On the heels of the 47th regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) taking place on June 19-21 in the city of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, United and Strong’s request to meet with Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun was accepted. The meeting sort to provide the Minister with information on the work of United and Strong Inc, discrimination issues faced my LGBT persons and the government’s position on recommendations made at the 2011 and 2015 UPR cycles.
Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun, Minister with responsibility for External Affairs and accompanied by Permanent Secretary Dr. Alison Gadjahdar, hosted the United and Strong’s delegation of the Communications and Advocacy Officer – Bennet Charles and Board Secretary Jessica St. Rose.
United and Strong provided the Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun and her team with our Annual Summary 2016 and a briefing on current projects in 2017. Both parties agreed on the unacceptable nature of discrimination targeting women and members of the LGBT community. Conversation related to recommendations made in the 1st and 2nd Cycles of St. Lucia’s Universal Periodic Review saw both parties agreeing to have followup meetings to discuss these recommendations. The Minister and her staff made a commitment to extend an invitation to United and Strong Inc to be part of a national UPR consultation.
The various atrocities experienced by key populations in St. Lucia clearly highlighted the need for advocacy. There was consensus that major changes in the attitudes of certain sectors of society needs to happen, however the question still remains, whether such advocacy should be the role of the Government, or whether it should be carried out by organisations like United and Strong Inc?
United and Strong Inc will look to continue it’s consultative process and curtosy visits to other key Ministers within this new administration. We remain adamant in our call to have government state a clear position on the LGBT community, while at the same time recognizing our work and it’s positive impact.