US State DepartmentWASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels// — Today, the United States and Colombia announced they will hold the first plenary meeting on the U.S.-Colombia Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality June 12 – 13, 2013 at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson and Colombian Vice Minister for Participation and Rights Equality Aníbal Fernández de Soto will chair the meeting.

The U.S.-Colombia Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality recognizes ethnic and racial diversity as a crucial element in the development of democratic and multicultural societies like those in Colombia and the United States. The Action Plan encourages greater cooperation and understanding, including sharing of best practices and mutually beneficial technical exchange, to create opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities in areas such as access to education, health, housing, and employment. To facilitate these exchanges and partnerships, Colombia and the United States established a two-part framework consisting of a Steering Committee and a plenary meeting.

Opening session remarks by Assistant Secretary Jacobson and Colombian Vice Minister of Interior Aníbal Fernández de Soto, on June 12 at 8:45 a.m. in the Harry S Truman Building’s Dean Acheson Auditorium will be open to press.

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