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.

Jamaica participates in Samoan small island development conference

Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson

Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson. Q.C., Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, leads delegation to Samoa on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) from September 1-4.

Kingston: Jamaica, 9/3: Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, is leading Jamaica’s delegation to the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which is being held in Apia, Samoa, from September 1 through 4, 2014. Minister Nicholson is joined by fellow Minister, the Hon. Robert Pickersgill, from the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, as well as Ambassador Paul Robotham, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and Lt. Col. Oral Khan, Chief Technical Director, Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.

The theme of the conference, “The sustainable development of SIDS through genuine and durable partnerships”, signals the understanding that the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States, such as Jamaica, cannot be achieved without the cooperation of and critical partnerships with members of the international community.

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

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

 

The conference is being held against the backdrop of extreme challenges being faced by SIDS, which include: the disproportionate effects of the impacts of climate change; the damaging consequences of natural disasters; threats to ecosystems and biodiversity; increased acidification of our oceans; diminished terms of trade; economic categorisations which affect access to aid; and high levels of unemployment, especially among young people. These challenges, taken individually or as a whole, have served to hinder or reverse the developmental progress of SIDS and have had a serious impact on their sustainable development efforts.

It is within this context that one of Jamaica’s priorities for the conference is to strengthen the partnerships established to ensure implementation of agreements related to the sustainable development of SIDS. The new plan of action for the sustainable development of SIDS – the Samoa Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway – will serve as the blue print for international action geared towards development of Small Island Developing States.

Lt. Col. Oral Khan

Lt. Col. Oral Khan, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Land, Water, Environment and Climate Change, is a member of the Samoan delegation.

During the conference, Jamaica will engage in important bilateral and multilateral meetings with key partners such as Germany, Israel, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland. Jamaica will also chair a critical discussion organized by the Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on the Vulnerability of Caribbean SIDS.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which has collectively played an active role in deliberations on SIDS, will be represented by a number of heads of government,  ministers from Member States as well as the Secretary General-OnPointPress.net.

Happy 52nd Independence Day Jamaica, land we love!

Jubilant crowd at previous Jamaica Independence celebration at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Jubilant crowd at previous Jamaica Independence celebration at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

By Carmen Glover

Kingston, Jamaica: On August 6, the picturesque island of Jamaica, known for late reggae icon Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley, delicious food, a lilting Caribbean accent and a cadre of fiercely proud and ambitious nationals, celebrates 52 years since the country gained it’s independence from the United Kingdom.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

The feeling of pride that infuses the hearts of Jamaicans at this time of the year is boundless. Many nationals, myself included, have flocked to the island to enjoy the Independence galas, festival song contest and other entertainment activities among family and friends.

Jamaica's Minister of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Hon. Robert Dixon Pickersgill.

Jamaica’s Minister of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Hon. Robert Dixon Pickersgill.

Jamaica has nurtured sons and daughters who have excelled on the national and international stage in just about every professional category imaginable. Among the Jamaican stalwarts who inspire a devoted following and interest in the country are former U.S.A. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Colin Powell; Charlotte Hornets Assistant Head Coach and former Knick center Patrick Ewing; track stars Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

NBA Hall of Fame Center and current Charlotte Hornets Assistant Head Coach Patrick Ewing.

NBA Hall of Fame Center and current Charlotte Hornets Assistant Head Coach Patrick Ewing.

Additionally, there is U.S.A.‎ Ambassador Susan Rice who boasts Jamaican heritage through her grandparents; entertainers and activists Sheryl Lee Ralph and Harry Belafonte; musicians Shaggy and Sean Paul and many more who span the professional spectrum.

Ambassador Susan Rice is the United States National Security Advisor.

Ambassador Susan Rice is the United States National Security Advisor.

While Jamaicans have a proud history of achievements, the country still has areas that need to be addressed in order to push the island forward to sustained growth and stability. For instance, the tendency that has recently been embraced of selling off national businesses to foreign investors is distressing and does not bode well for the nation.

Jamaican Independence postage stamp from 1962.

Jamaica Independence postage stamp from 1962.

Also, the incidence of crime, an issue which has plagued the island for decades, needs a feasible solution. The fact that the country is experiencing a drought since May, prompting the imposition of a water restriction by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill, dampens the spirit a bit.

2013 World Athlete of the Year Award winners Usain Bolt (l) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (r).

2013 World Athlete of the Year Award winners Usain Bolt (l) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (r).

Nevertheless, these are exciting times for Jamaica as it ‎celebrates 52 years as an independent nation. The country’s motto “Out of Many, One People,” resonates deeply as the genuine warmth and passion of Jamaicans shine through from the moment a visitor or returning native lands on Jamaican soil.

Popular reggae singer and Grammy Award winner Shaggy is actively involved in social issues in Jamaica.

Popular reggae singer and Grammy Award winner Shaggy is actively involved in social issues in Jamaica.

In my case, being here for the Independence celebrations after a long time away evokes a flood of pleasant memories of a carefree childhood filled with summer excursions to the beach in Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. As I retrace those steps with my family, I am grateful to be home and proud as ever of my rich heritage. Happy Birthday Jamaica, land we love!–OnPointPress.net.