On Thursday, March 18, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines House of Assembly met virtually to deepen and broaden U.S.-Vincentian bilateral ties. The meeting, part of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), ran over its scheduled hour as the members discussed their legislatures’ role in the COVID-19 pandemic response, vaccination rollout plans, and the legislative process in each country. Representative David Price (D-NC), Chairman of the HDP, specifically noted Representative Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) commitment to expanding HDP dialogues to the Eastern Caribbean. Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) completed the bipartisan U.S. delegation. On the Vincentian side, the Honorable Rochelle Forde, Speaker of the House of Assembly; The Honorable Curtis King, Minister of Education and National Reconciliation; The Honorable Ashelle Morgan, Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly; Dr. The Honorable Godwin Friday, Leader of the Opposition; and Honorable member of the Opposition Fitzgerald Bramble joined the conversation.
U.S. Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Linda Taglialatela opened the meeting. “As a member of the UN Security Council for the past two years, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been at the forefront of many global issues alongside the United States,” she said. “At the heart of every strong democracy is the ability to find compromise and build consensus. Bipartisan engagements like this one highlight that this is achievable. I hope this is the beginning of many more discussions among legislative counterparts.”
Established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005, HDP uses peer-to-peer exchange programs, training seminars for members and staff, and targeted material assistance to exchange views with international partners on legislative oversight, budget analysis, committee operations, constituent relations, and library and research services.