Jamaica Joins the World in Marking UN Day on October 24


Jamaica will join the rest of the world in marking the 62nd anniversary of the United Nations (UN) on Wednesday, October 24.
On the day, which has been designated UN Day, the work of UN agencies in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean will be highlighted.
“We would like to use UN Day to sensitize individuals about the functions of UN agencies, types of assistance provided by all the agencies and ensure they are fully aware of how to access benefits,” said Acting Resident Coordinator of UN agencies in Jamaica, Dr. Ernest Pate.
Dr. Pate, who was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, pointed out that, “the UN today is focused on expanding human security especially for the poor and marginalized so most of our programmes are focused on them.”
In terms of Jamaica’s association with the UN, the Acting Resident Coordinator said that the UN has been in Jamaica virtually since its inception, and through the Government of Jamaica’s Medium Term Economic Framework, the organization assists the country under five priority headings. These are: education, health, HIV/AIDS, the environment and poverty reduction, and justice, peace and security.
In addition, Jamaica functions as the headquarters of the UN in the region, with 10 Resident Agency Offices in the island. These are: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); World Bank; International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations AIDS Programme (UNAIDS); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO); and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
The world body has played a lead role in supporting national relief efforts, most recently, after Hurricane Dean. In addition to assisting with initial damage assessment, the UN agencies collectively committed $80 million of emergency financial assistance through UNDP, UNICEF and PAHO, for recovery from this single event.
In response to representation by UN agencies in Jamaica, international development partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Kingdom’s Department For International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), have pledged in excess of $100 million of additional funding for recovery initiatives.
Speaking of the annual budget for each UN agency in Jamaica, Dr. Pate told JIS News that this is in the range of US$3 million to US$7 million, which he explained is separate from funds raised by each agency through programmes. “Collectively,” he said, “they provide billions of dollars every year to support the areas of priority focus in Jamaica.”
The UN came into existence on October 24, 1945, out of the need for the creation of an international organization that will maintain world peace through negotiation, diplomacy, collective security and improving global welfare.
The world body replaced the League of Nations, which was established in 1920 by the peace treaties that ended World War 1, with the aim of bringing stability to the world and ensuring that war never broke out again. The League was dismantled after it failed to prevent World War 2.

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