Jamaican contingent participates in 69th UN General Assembly

Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson

Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, will lead Jamaica’s delegation to the 69th session of the UN’s General Assembly.

Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson QC, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, will lead Jamaica’s delegation to the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The session is being held at the United Nations headquarters in New York beginning today, September 22 through September 30.

Minister Nicholson will be accompanied by Ambassador Paul Robotham, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and supported by the staff of the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations in New York, headed by Ambassador Courtenay Rattray.

Hon. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Land, Water and Environment is part of the delegation to Samoa.

Hon. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Land, Water and Environment is part of the delegation to the UN General Assembly.

Honorable Robert D. Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change will be a member of the delegation. He will participate in the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Summit to be held on September 23, 2014.

Minister Nicholson will also participate in the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit; the Twenty-ninth special session of the General Assembly on the follow-up to the program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development; a high level meeting to commemorate the International Day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons; and a high-level event on enhancing the contribution of women to peace and security. He will also attend meetings of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth, the Group of 77 and China, the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) and CARICOM.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon joined marchers in New York on Sunday, September 21 to promote climate change.

Minister Nicholson will deliver Jamaica’s policy statement to the United Nations General Assembly on September 29. He will also participate in a ceremony to symbolically receive contributions by some members of the international community to the trust fund for the construction of the Permanent Memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

Among the priority issues for Jamaica during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly will be Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the post-2014 development agenda to be adopted in 2015 in the 70th year of the founding of the United Nations, international peace and security, disarmament, and social issues such as non-communicable diseases, women, youth and children and disabilities.

Demonstrators hold signs on a street next to Central Park during the People's Climate March in New York, U.S., on Sept. 21, 2014. The United Nations 2014 Climate Summit is scheduled for Sept. 23. Photographer: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg

Demonstrators hold signs on a street next to Central Park during the People’s Climate March in New York, U.S., on Sept. 21, 2014. The United Nations 2014 Climate Summit is scheduled for Sept. 23. Photographer: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg

On September 23, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will hold a Climate Summit intended to galvanise political will and commitment for action to be taken on climate change in advance of the meeting of the Conference of Parties to be held in 2015 in Paris when it is anticipated that a legally binding document on climate change will be adopted.

Jamaica's Ambasador Courenay Rattray.

Jamaica’s Ambassador Courtenay Rattray.

This year’s session of the UNGA will be presided over by H.E. Sam Kutesa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda under the theme “Delivering on and implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”.At this year’s General Assembly, Jamaica will, as is customary, actively participate in all committees and the plenary sessions.

Jamaica will serve as chair of the first committee on disarmament and international security. Ambassador Rattray was elected chairman in July 2014 by acclamation of the UN General Assembly. This will mark the first time in 34 years that a CARICOM member state chairs this committee and only the second time in the history of the UN that a CARICOM national has served in this capacity. Jamaica has also been elected vice chair of the third committee on social, humanitarian and cultural affairs. Jamaica  will serve on the credentials committee for this year’s session. –OnPointPress.net.

Who will speak up for the children who were abused by NFL stars?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he disappointed many people but declined to acknowledge children, who were victimized by high profile NFL stars.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he disappointed many people, including himself but declined to acknowledge children, who were victimized by high- profile NFL stars.

On Friday, September 19, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell emerged from his self-imposed, 10-day, hideout from the public, sponsors, NFL team owners, players and members of the media to preside over a press conference that was long on vagueness and short on concrete solutions.While Goodell issued several mea culpas, he failed to apologize to the victims, particularly the children, who have been, and continue to be, damaged by the violent actions of NFL stars.

Goodell spoke about how “sorry’ he was  for the incidents of domestic and child abuse that have cast a pall over the game. He spoke about the valuable advice he expects to receive from his recently assembled domestic violence panel. Yet, while the NFL appointed an all-white panel of females to address the scourge of domestic violence, the league has been noticeably silent about the issue of child abuse. This needs to be changed without further delay.

Victims of child abuse.

Victims of child abuse, cling to each other for strength and support.

When children witness domestic violence incidents by their parents or endure severe acts of corporal punishment such as what Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson administered to his four-year old son, the emotional scars last a lifetime. Experiencing a dysfunctional household exposes vulnerable children to potential lifetimes of harm, inability to establish trust and challenges with establishing appropriate boundaries.

Goodell has a responsibility to work hard at eliminating such awful conduct by his players so that women and children can be protected. Children, who are defenseless, deserve even greater protection. Goodell’s failure to outline clearcut measures to rid his league of abusive and violent conduct exhibited by his players, is beyond troubling. It’s a disgrace.


It is often said that “It takes  a village to raise a child.” Where is the village now in calling on the NFL to implement policies to protect children? Where is the panel of experts that the NFL has put together to address child abuse? Why is it that at each press conference announcing that various players are being benched or placed on the “commissioner’s exempt list” no information is given about what is being done to focus on the abused children?

Has the NFL forgotten the abuse that Jerry Sandusky unleashed on innocent children at Penn State University because too many adults remained silent? It is time for Goodell to come out and publicly address the specific measures he plans to implement to keep children safe. Also, it is time for the public to be aggressive in demonstrating interest in the well-being of all children, not only those whose fathers play in the NFL–OnPointPress.net.


Reggae rock band, Soul Rebel Project, releases new digital album


By Tiffany Mea

The world of reggae and Caribbean-inspired music is vast and ever-progressing, Soul Rebel Project is a prime example of this genre’s influential reach. The Boston-based reggae rock band is putting their unique stamp on the genre with their pulsating drum and bass rhythms and heavily decorated melodies. They teamed up with New England’s top musicians to deliver their new album Higher Place, which is distributed through VP Associated Label Group (VPAL). The digital-only release debuted at #8 on U.S. Billboard Reggae Album Chart on July 20th and their physical CD release will hit stores on September 23rd.

With his soulful vocals and energetic stage performances, the band is led by singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist Mike Francis Jr. He is joined by Jay Harris (lead guitar), Adam Saylor (bass) and Geoff Pilkington (drums). The group has toured steadily throughout the summer with dates throughout the fall. The group will appear in various California venues from September 30 through October 4. –OnPointPress.net.


Jamaican athletes warmly welcomed, skills touted, in Brussels visit

Mr. Jacques Nyseem, Mr Wlifrid Meert/ Van Damme Games Representative, Mr Andreas Gerlandt, Mr Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell, Ambassador Vilma McNish and Kemar Bailey-Cole.

Mr. Jacques Nyseem, Senior VP of Commerzbank and Honorary Consul in Belgium; Mr Wlifrid Meert/ Van Damme Games Representative; Mr Andreas Gerlandt, Commerzbank Country Manager for Belgium; Mr Nesta Carter; Jamaica’s Track Star Asafa Powell, Jamaica’s Ambassador to Belgium  Vilma McNish and Kemar Bailey-Cole.

“Our Jamaican athletes continue to blaze a trail of triumph and glory globally,” said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in a special video message on the occasion of a reception on September 4, 2014 in honor of the athletes who participated in the recent Memorial Van Damme Games in Brussels.The treasured and talented ambassadors of Brand Jamaica continue to bring distinction to Jamaica, the Prime Minister said.

The event was hosted by the embassy of Jamaica in Brussels and the Commerzbank on the eve of the season’s final IAAF Diamond League meet on September 5, 2014.
The Prime Minister used the opportunity to highlight the fruitful relationship and the strong bonds of friendship between Jamaica and Belgium.


Jamaican track star Asafa Powell shares his thoughts with the gathering.

Referring to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Brussels after the Second World War, she stressed the power of sport to free the world from prejudices and unite people in the spirit of cooperation, friendship, peace, security and freedom.

In welcoming the athletes, Ambassador Vilma McNish, Jamaica’s ambassador to Belgium and head of mission to the European Union also lauded their outstanding achievements of the athletes during the season, in particular their performance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in August. Mr. Jacques Nyssen, vice president of the Commerzbank and Honorary Consul, underscored the many years of co-operation between Jamaica and Belgium, particularly in the area oftransportation.

Jamaican athletes

L-R: Mr. Andreas Gerlandt, Commerzbank Country Manager for Belgium,  Jamaica’s Ambassador to Belgium Vilma McNish, Track star Asafa Powell and Mr. Jacques Nyseem, Senior Vice President of Commerzbank and Honorary Consul in Belgium.

The relaxed atmosphere allowed the athletes who had spent the day training for the track meet the following day to meet and greet members of the Jamaican Communityand Belgianwell-wishers. They included Asafa Powell, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nesta Carter, Andrew Riley, Kaliese Spencer, Christine Day, Stephanie Ann McPherson, Novlene Williams Mills, and Kimberley Williams.

A donation was made by Commerzbank to the Asafa Powell Foundation. In accepting the donation, Mr. Powel affirmed his dedication to sport and in assisting in the development of young track and field athletes in Jamaica through his foundation. He expressed the appreciation of his fellow athletes for the warm reception.-OnPointPress.net.

Medical tourism conference will highlight Caribbean contribution

Dr. Chandy Abraham

Dr. Chandy Abraham, facility director and head of Medical Services, Healthy City Cayman Islands, will participate in the medical tourism conference in Washington, D.C.

Cayman Islands: September 2014 – One of the Caribbean’s newest medical facilities will be introduced to the world as an excellent Caribbean contribution to the rapidly expanding medical tourism landscape at a major global meeting this month.

Health City Cayman Islands will be offered up as a center of excellence for medical tourism and destination healthcare at the World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress in Washington DC, September 20 to 24. Health City Cayman Islands, a leader and innovator in providing world-class, affordable, high quality health care in a compassionate, caring environment, will send a strong delegation to one of the most comprehensive international healthcare conferences and trade shows in the sector.

Dr. Chandy Abraham, Facility Director and Head of Medical Services, will introduce the special skills and capacities of the Caribbean’s state-of-the-art facility in his presentation to a Caribbean ministerial meeting.


“The networking value of these conferences is exceptional,” said Dr. Abraham, who added Health City Cayman Islands is looking forward to sharing its door-to-door concierge service and tropical atmosphere which promote a relaxing recovery.

Fielding questions and representing Health City at formal meetings will be Patient Care Relations Manager Joan Freedman; Marketing Director Shomari Scott; and Digital Marketing Specialist Aliya Dunstan.

“As the world’s population ages, non-communicable diseases continue to rise in frequency and healthcare costs inflate at an alarming rate. The issue of creating a healthcare destination that provides a high quality service for far less cost has never been more pressing,” said Scott.

The Health City Cayman Islands facility, he added, represented the Caribbean’s determination to step up to the burgeoning global medical tourism and travel market. Envisioned by Narayana Health’s storied Dr. Devi Shetty, a philanthropist and personal physician of the late Mother Teresa, Health City Cayman Islands opened its doors in February 2014. The state-of-the-art medical facility in the western Caribbean is one of 27 facilities operating under Dr. Shetty’s administration across the globe.

Health City Cayman Islands opened its first phase in early 2014, putting the Cayman Islands on the map as a healthcare destination, and offering patients a centre of excellence for cardiac surgery, cardiology, orthopaedics, paediatric endocrinology and pulmonology. Once completed, Health City Cayman Islands will have 2,000 beds, a dedicated medical research university, assisted living centre and become one of the largest healthcare centres of its kind in the world. Health City recently created Caribbean surgical history by installing an artificial heart pump (LVAD – Left Ventricular Assist Device) to give a Caymanian man facing advanced stage heart failure a new lease on life. For more information, visit www.healthcity.ky-OnPointPres.net.


Caribbean group set to honor late dub poet Mikey Smith’s 60th birthday

Dub Poet Michael 'Mikey" Smith was stoned to death 30 years ago.

Dub Poet Michael ‘Mikey” Smith was stoned to death 30 years ago.

On Thursday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m., “Poets & Passion, A Caribbean Literary Lime” kicks off its ninth season reflecting on the work dub poet Michael Mikey Smith and the legacy of Caribbean artists as social activists .Smith was killed by a blow to the head on August 17, 1983, a month short of his 30th birthday.

“Talkin Dub: A Mikey Smith Tribute” takes place at Nicholas Brooklyn, 570 Fulton Street (corner Flatbush Avenue), in the heart of the cultural district of downtown Brooklyn. It  features a program of film, music and performance poetry with some of the most dynamic custodians of the dub poetry tradition: Barbadian, AJA and Jamaicans, jaBEZ, Queen Majeeda and Ras Osagyefo. A project of the Caribbean Cultural Theatre, this program is being presented in association with Big Sis Entertainment and Nicholas Brooklyn, Inc. It is also a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event.

the Afro-Caribbean Dance Ensemble is an internationally acclaimed dance company based in Edmonton, Alberta, that is dedicated to educating the public and building an appreciation and understanding of dance, African and Caribbean culture and multiculturalism.

the Afro-Caribbean Dance Ensemble is an internationally acclaimed dance company based in Edmonton, Alberta, that is dedicated to educating the public and building an appreciation and understanding of dance, African and Caribbean culture and multiculturalism.

Smith was one of the most original poetic voices to emerge from the newly independent British Caribbean during the politically volatile 1970. His weapon, Dub Poetry, is an indigenous Caribbean literary form steeped in the traditional orality, social consciousness and personal struggle. Smith’s work raged against a Jamaican political establishment that seemed to fail the majority of its people and decry to social and economic inequities commonplace in black communities throughout the Caribbean diaspora.

According to the Jamaica Daily Gleaner report Smith was “hit on the head by a stone thrown by one of three men who had attacked him” in the aftermath of a political meeting held by the then governing party. Celebrated dub poet and Smith contemporary, Linton Kwesi Johnson, who inaugurated the Poets & Passion series, has been quoted as saying that Smith was “the quintessential performance poet, gifted with an unrivalled talent for mesmerizing his audience.”

Artistic depiction of Caribbean culture.

Artistic depiction of Caribbean culture.

This 60th birthday tribute is presented with support of Nicholas Brooklyn, a cutting-edge business incubator and creative outlet in the heart of Brooklyn’s vibrant downtown cultural district with programs in poetry, music and independent film, and Big Sis Entertainment, headed by Sister Kufunya and producing work in popular music and celebrating the Rastafari culture. This is the third Poets & Passion program with community based organizations highlighting the range of Caribbean letters leading up to the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. Previous programs have featured Robert Antoni (Bahamas), Earl Lovelace (Trinidad & Tobago), Oonya Kempadoo (Guyana) and Montague Kobbé (Venezuela)

The Caribbean Cultural Theatre, which presents the work of Caribbean based and/or influenced writers, filmmakers, folklorists and theatre practitioners, has been artist-in-resident at the Caribbean Research Center – Medgar Evers College for the past three years. The 2014-15 Caribbean Cultural Theatre season of presentations will focus on the role of Caribbean artists being the ‘creative consciousness’ within our community.

For information contact Caribbean Cultural Theatre: 718.783.8345 / caribbeantheatre.org or Nicholas Brooklyn: 718.858.4400.-OnPointPress.net.


Clueless Roger Goodell snubs blacks by creating all-white DV panel

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to critics of the punishment of Ray Rice by making sweeping changes to the NFL personal conduct policy.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has snubbed blacks by creating an all-white panel to address domestic violence and child abuse issues that have been plaguing the league of late.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has done it again!. In an effort to calm the public relations nightmare that has enveloped the league, he appointed four women to address domestic violence issues that have been in the public eye due to incidents involving black families.

Absent from the panel is any black women or men. Where is the black woman who could give credible background and context to the issue of domestic violence and child abuse? Where is the blemish-free retired black NFL player who could shed light on the players’ mindset while assisting to create a meaningful template to elicit appropriate conduct by the players?

But no, Goodell ignored the voices of blacks even though he created the panel due to the outcry created by his mishandling of off the field issues that involved black players and their families.

The women, who all have stellar credentials, are: Lisa Friel 57, former sex crimes leader in New York; Jane Randel, 47, and Rita Smith, 60, both domestic violence prevention champions, and Anna Isaacson, whose NFL title was expanded to include “social responsibility,” whatever that means.

In a league that is more than 70 percent black, Goodell’s actions show that he has no respect for his players, their families or his sponsors. Instead, he shows that he is insecure and will do whatever he believes will sway public view to his side. So he appoints a group of white women with impressive credentials to examine and fix an issue that disproportionately affects black women, black children and black NFL players. In Goodell’s world, this makes perfect sense.-OnPointpPress.net.