“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I extend warm wishes to the people of Jamaica on the occasion of your 51st year of independence this August 6.” - Secretary John Kerry

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I extend warm wishes to the people of Jamaica on the occasion of your 51st year of independence this August 6.” - Secretary John Kerry

Caribbean Entrepreneurs Compete in Diaspora Marketplace in Jamaica

Winners of the inaugural Caribbean IdEA Marketplace pose  for a photograph with State Department and USAID employees in Kingston, Jamaica on February 26, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Authors: Connie Tzioumis serves as Senior Adviser with the U.S. Secretary of State’s Global Partnerships Initiative, and Romi Bhatia serves as a Program Analyst at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In Kingston, Jamaica on February 25-26, 12 finalists of the inaugural Caribbean IdEA Marketplace (CIM) showcased innovative business plans to policymakers, business leaders, investors and media and competed for $400,000 in grant funding. During the two-day event, entrepreneurs had the chance to participate in high-level policy roundtables,… more »

Inaugural Caribbean Dialogue on Rule of Law and Gender-Based Violence: A Catalyst for Action

Children play in Kingston, Jamaica, May 30, 2010. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Anita Botti serves as Chief of Staff and Principal Deputy in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

On the heels of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which ran from November 25 through December 10, the United States engaged with regional partners to spur action against GBV within our own hemisphere. Gender-based violence is a global epidemic that has no boundaries. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, every one of the Caribbean islands has a sexual violence rate that is higher than the world average.

From December 11 to 13, I had the privilege of being part of the first Caribbean Dialogue on Rule of Law and Gender-Based Violence, co-hosted by the Department of State and Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. Approximately 80 representatives from 12 countries of the… more »

DipNote: The Week in Review
Afghan boy waits with his kite in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 24, 2011. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote’s Managing Editor.

Last week, President Barack Obama delivered remarks on the way forward in Afghanistan. President Obama said:

“…In one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made as President, I ordered an additional 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan. When I announced this surge at West Point, we set clear objectives: to refocus on al Qaeda, to reverse the Taliban’s momentum, and train Afghan security forces to defend their own country. I also made it clear that our commitment would not be open-ended, and that we would begin to draw down our forces this July.

“Tonight, I can tell you that we are fulfilling that commitment. Thanks to our extraordinary men and women in uniform, our civilian personnel, and our many coalition partners, we are… more »

A Preview of Secretary Clinton’s Trip to Guatemala and Jamaica


Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela and Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement William Brownfield held a special press briefing at the Department of State to discuss the Secretary Clinton’s upcoming trip to Guatemala and Jamaica on June 20, 2011.

Assistant Secretary Valenzuela said, “…The Secretary will be traveling this Wednesday to Guatemala City to attend the meeting of the Central American Integration System, SICA, that is being held in Central America in order to discuss the Central American security strategy that the countries of Central America have come up with through their integration mechanism, which is the SICA mechanism.

“They’ve developed this strategy with support from elements of the international community, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the… more »

Inside Secretary Clinton’s Meeting with Jamaican Prime Minister Golding


About the Author: Joslyn Mack-Wilson serves as the Jamaica Desk Officer in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

After closely following Jamaican Prime Minister Golding’s public statements and policy positions for almost two years as the Desk Officer for Jamaica at the U.S. Department of State, I looked forward to finally seeing him in person. Prime Minister Golding came to Washington, D.C., last week to speak with major international financial institutions and to give a keynote address at the International Forum on Caribbean Investment and Development.

On June 6, I had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Golding during his bilateral meeting with Secretary Clinton. I arrived at the meeting room with the senior members of the U.S. delegation early so we could welcome the Jamaican delegation when they arrived. There was just enough time to peek inside the room and spot my seat — the one at the far end of the table marked for the notetaker.

Minutes later, Prime… more »