Global Warming to Top Agenda Issues


As the world continues to grapple with the dangers of global warming and abnormal weather patterns, the Government of Jamaica is committing to placing these issues at the top of its agenda this legislative year.
While delivering the Throne Speech in Gordon House today (March 25) to mark the official start of the new Parliamentary year, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, said the Government will continue to work relentlessly with other concerned and committed nations to secure a legally binding international convention to save the planet from the dangers of global warming.
“Jamaica is disappointed that the much-heralded conference on climate change held in Copenhagen, (Denmark) in December delivered much less than was expected and failed to arrive at binding agreements on emissions reduction, caps on temperature rise and adequate funding for mitigation and adaptation,” Sir Patrick commented.
He said global warming posed a real threat to the survival of small island states such as Jamaica, the majority of whose populations lived in low-lying coastal areas.
Turning to the recent devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the Governor- General commended the local disaster management personnel and other rescue workers for their selflessness in assisting in the rescue missions and reconstruction efforts in Haiti.
“Jamaica responded swiftly to the crisis in Haiti and we thank the Jamaica Defence Force and our medical, fire service and disaster management personnel for their sterling efforts in rendering assistance in the wake of the tragedy. They have made us exceedingly proud,” he stated.
In relation to foreign affairs matters, Sir Patrick said Jamaica will remain actively engaged in foreign relations and has participated in several important initiatives especially in forging greater unity among Caribbean and Latin American countries.
He said that last year, Jamaica was admitted to full membership of the Rio Group. Jamaica was also named a member of the troika that prepared the groundwork for the declaration in Cancun last month, establishing the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, embracing the legacy of the Rio Group and the Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean for Integration and Development.
Noting that Jamaica will assume chairmanship of CARICOM in July, the Governor-General said the move comes at a time when the region is confronted with several critical issues including the rebuilding of Haiti, free trade negotiations with Canada, the review of trade preferences by the United States, and the unfinished agenda for implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

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