Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that her administration will extend the "hand of participation" to everyone who, wishes to play a role in the country's development.
"Jamaicans in the Diaspora will be given every opportunity to contribute and to be respected equally as Jamaicans at home," she stated during her swearing-in ceremony today at King’s House.
Mrs. Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s seventh Prime Minister, was installed during a colouful ceremony, which was presided over by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen. Some 10,000 guests were in attendance, including members of parliament, former prime ministers, overseas delegates, family, friends and well-wishers.
During her address, the Prime Minister called on all Jamaicans to take responsibility for their lives and “strive to improve ourselves by reinvesting in our personal development."
She pointed to the need for partnership in the development process. “Partnership between the government and the people is not a matter of choice but an absolute necessity. This is critical if we are to extend our already world renowned power to true national, economic and social triumph. Absolutely nothing can make our magnificent country fail if we all put aside our differences and strive for our ultimate goals,” Mrs. Simpson Miller stated.
The Prime Minister said it is time to build a gentler, more respectful and responsible society, with Jamaicans being “more respectful of ourselves, more respectful of each other, more respectful of our senior citizens, more respectful of persons with disabilities, and more respectful of our national symbols and national institutions."
She said the government will seek to earn the respect of the country through “how we conduct ourselves and the nation’s business. We will strive for more civil and respectful behaviour in our Parliament."
Mrs. Simpson Milleris being installed for the second time, having served as Prime Minister from March 2006 to September 2007. She served for 17 years as a Cabinet Minister with portfolio responsibility for Labour and Social Security, Tourism and Local Government, Community Development and Sport.
She was conferred with the Order of the Nation in May 2006.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter