Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke has said that the government was committed to a foreign policy that promoted international peace, security, human rights, justice and development. Sir Howard, who was speaking to members of the diplomatic corps at a dinner held in their honour last night (Jan. 26) at King’s House, also noted the state’s devotion to a multilateral system of which the art and practice of diplomacy was central.
He further called on the diplomats “to confront the global challenges that are before us as we move through the 21st century.not with pessimism and fear, but with hope and optimism in the intrinsic good of humankind.”
Set to demit office next month after serving more than 15 years as the country’s head of state, Sir Howard said he found his years of service to be very rewarding. “One of the particular pleasures that Lady (Ivy) Cooke and I have had during my tenure as Governor General has been the opportunity afforded us of meeting members of the diplomatic corps,” he said. Replying on behalf of the diplomats, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, Dennis Francis expressed gratitude to the Jamaican government and the Foreign Affairs Ministry, in particular.
He said that Jamaica’s foreign policy was articulated in a most credible manner by a team of professionals within the Foreign Ministry led by Ministers K.D. Knight and Delano Franklyn, and under the astute political direction of Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson.
“The corps has nothing but high regard and appreciation for the staff at all levels of the Ministry, who without failure, make themselves accessible to us, and adopt a supportive posture in advancing the work of our respective missions and indeed, that of the corps as a whole,” the High Commissioner said. Mr. Francis also expressed thanks to the Governor General and his wife for the hospitality and warmth extended to the diplomatic corps, whenever they visited King’s House. The diplomatic dinner formed part of activities to mark the eight annual Diplomatic Week. Jamaica enjoys diplomatic relations with a total of 142 countries, 74 of which have accredited representatives, 29 being resident in the island.