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Deputy Leader in the House of Representatives, Andrew Gallimore, has said that Jamaica has benefitted “tremendously” from being a member of the Commonwealth, in terms of identifying and undertaking initiatives aimed at enhancing growth and development.
“They (Commonwealth of Nations) have assisted in putting a focus on issues such as education and training, leadership development, the development of our cultural exchanges, our human development, and issues that face the empowerment of our women and young people,” he stated.
Mr. Gallimore, who is also State Minister for Labour and Social Security, was speaking at a function organised by the Houses of Parliament, to mark Commonwealth Day today (March 9) at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston.
Noting the range of countries making up the 53-nation membership, Mr. Gallimore underscored the importance of collaboration among Commonwealth countries. He said that much has been gained by the members from the organisation.
“The last 60 years have been years in which we have made a lot of headway, and the Association has helped in guiding us in all that we have done. There is more that we would have liked to have accomplished. as a nation. But by having this association of Commonwealth nations.the ability to collaborate on a regular basis, and to look at how we can face challenges, it saves you, in many instances, from having to reinvent the wheel. You can learn from other nations, how they have faced challenges, and how they moved forward,” he stated.
In this regard, Mr. Gallimore recommitted the administration’s willingness to “do all that we can to continue to build, grow, and assist each other,” adding that Jamaica looks forward to sustaining collaborations, as members work to tackle prevailing and future challenges.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Delroy Chuck, noted that Commonwealth countries have benefited significantly from shared common practices and experiences in parliamentary matters, pointing to the similarities in procedures among members.
“When we (House Speakers) meet, we try to share how parliaments can conduct business more openly and transparently. I can assure you that we learn a great deal from other Commonwealth parliaments.and others.. are learning from the Jamaica parliament, especially in the conduct of committees. We must appreciate that the Commonwealth is beneficial, not only to Jamaica, but to all (member) nations,” Mr. Chuck said.
Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Dr. Oswald Harding, said that Jamaica has benefitted “enormously” from shared experience, and best practices in advancing human rights, democracy, sustainable development, and peace, which he stressed, have been the association’s “guiding principles”.
Dr. Harding urged the students in attendance, to take advantage of opportunities available for facilitating learning, by sourcing assistance, which could enhance their education.
Held under the theme: ‘The Commonwealth at 60 – Serving a New Generation,’ the function was held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Nations, and to heighten awareness about the organisation, particularly among youngsters.
The occasion, which featured displays and performances in song, poetry, drama, and dance, by a number of the schools, was also marked by the reading of messages from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, and Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
Commonwealth Day is observed annually on the second Monday in March, by the 53 former British colony nations around the world.

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