The United States seeks to have active and dynamic relations with our Caribbean neighbors. Beginning with their participation in the Summit of the America's in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009, which included a meeting with Caribbean leaders, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have promoted a strong partnership between the United States and the Caribbean countries in order to tackle the common challenges our citizens face, whether it is improving security, fostering economic prosperity, or addressing climate change. This June, National Caribbean-American Heritage month, Secretary Clinton traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica to meet with Caribbean leaders and announce several Caribbean country grants on renewable energy and a new initiative with the University of the West Indies on climate adaptation. Secretary Clinton also launched the Caribbean Idea Marketplace Initiative. The Caribbean Idea Marketplace is a business competition platform aimed at fostering collaboration between local and global Caribbean diaspora entrepreneurs to develop and expand innovative projects that will generate employment and economic growth. And, today the U.S. Department of State is pleased to host our third Diplomacy Briefing Series -- this one focused on U.S. foreign policy in the Caribbean.
The Diplomacy Briefing Series is a new program organized by the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Bureau of Public Affairs. This series is designed to engage a wide spectrum from civil society, including organizations ranging from academic institutions and think tanks to religious groups and business associations. Among the goals is to engage important diaspora communities and tap into them as a key resource that can promote closer ties and development. Speaking at today's conference will be Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global AffairsMaria Otero and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere AffairsArturo Valenzuela. The conference will also feature a three-member outside panel organized by the Caribbean Research and Policy Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. The panel discussion will focus on security, development and governance in the Caribbean and will be led by Ambassador Curtis Ward, former ambassador of Jamaica to the United Nations, Anton E. Edmunds, President & CEO of The Edmunds Group International LLC, and governance expert Dr. Deryck Brown, an associate of the Caribbean Research and Policy Institute. If you are interested in learning how to register to receive invitations for future Diplomacy Briefing Series and other conferences hosted by the State Department, please access the following link to fill out a registration form.
Finally, we hope you will follow our next "Conversations with America" on Wednesday, July 6 at 10:30 a.m. for a discussion on U.S.-Caribbean ties hosted by Olive Sampson, Director of the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, who herself hails from the Caribbean. The discussion will feature Deputy Assistant Secretary from Western Hemisphere Affairs Julissa Reynoso and former ambassador from Jamaica to the United Nations Curtis Ward. This episode of "Conversations with America" will be able to be viewed on DipNote, the Department of State's official blog.