Kingston, Jamaica, March 19, 2015: On Thursday, March 19, Jamaica’s United Nations Association of Jamaica (UNAJ) held its 39th Model Assembly of the United Nations. The event was attended by members of staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, students and Dr. Lucille Buchanan, UNAJ’s national president.
Hon. Arnaldo Brown, State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, outlined the topic for debate as “The Role of Governments of Small Island Developing States is to Protect the Rights of its People,” which he said “will certainly lead to some interesting and passionate exchanges among you as you represent Member States.” Minister Brown provided background information on “the issues affecting countries like Jamaica which are Small Island Developing Countries (SIDS), and our aspirations for contributing to the well-being of our people through engagement at the international level.”
He spoke about sustainable development and the importance of each country making diligent efforts to ensure economic growth for its citizens. Addressing the importance of collaboration he said:
“I am happy to note that there is global recognition of the need for enhanced coordination, cooperation, coherence and effective policymaking across the entire United Nations system to meet the development needs of its Member States. Jamaica, therefore, supports the processes currently underway within the UN to ensure greater scope for the participation and engagement of all actors within the development process.
“We view sustainable development and human rights as inextricably linked, and that sustainable development is best undertaken in an environment of peace and justice for all. It is in this connection that we have undertaken substantive work to ensure that the freedom and rights of our citizens are protected under the UN Charter, the Jamaican Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedom. Jamaica is also party to seven (7) of the nine (9) core international human rights conventions including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
“In acknowledging our vulnerability to environmental hazards, we recognise that the intensity and complexity of the challenges faced by SIDS are likely to grow exponentially in coming years. We remain committed to the principles enshrined in the Rio Declaration, the Barbados Plan of Action and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action. These set the framework for international action in relation to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States, such as Jamaica.
“As a small island developing state with unique characteristics and vulnerabilities, the Government of Jamaica will continue to build national and international partnerships to protect human rights, promote economic development and ensure environmental sustainability for this and future generations.”–OnPointPress.net.