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The Government will be conducting a series of islandwide consultations to advance the process of social transformation, and to change the culture of how Jamaicans treat each other.

Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says a lack of values and attitudes among many Jamaicans has long been recognised as the source of social breakdown and disorder, but that efforts to address this have not been adequately sustained.

“Much more work has to be done on a sustained basis, led by the Government with the support of the churches, the private sector, NGOs and the media. Not least of all, it requires each individual taking more personal responsibility to secure a positive change,” he said.

The Governor-General was delivering the 2013/2014 Throne Speech under the theme, ‘Jamaica: Going for Growth and Development’, to signal the start of the new financial year, at Gordon House, on Thursday, April 4.

He said that while some strides have been made in reducing overall levels of violence, with 2012 recording the lowest number of murders in nine years, the nation still faces challenges, with one of them being the frequency and extent of assaults, neglect and abuse by some citizens on others, including children and women.

“We have to work much harder to make these assaults a rare occurrence in our country by all the means possible, including the law,” the Governor-General emphasised.

By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter