Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says Jamaica will play an active role in revitalising CARICOM.
He says the building of the CARICOM Single Market and the pursuit of functional co-operation and the co-ordination of foreign policy will be priorities of the Government this legislative year.
“Foreign policy is an important part of our governance. It is a means through which, as a country, we can make a meaningful contribution to good order, sustainable development in all countries and peaceful co-existence between the peoples on our planet,” the Governor-General said, as he delivered the Throne Speech in Gordon House on Thursday to mark the opening of the new Parliamentary year.
He said Jamaica intends to strengthen its relations with South and Central America to open new avenues for trade, investment and tourism flows and to extend functional co-operation and cultural exchange.
“We will be represented at the African Union-Africa Diaspora Summit this month. An embassy in Kuwait was officially opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade last month. Our embassy will provide Jamaica with an important link in a region that is a source of capital and a potential supplier of energy to the country,” he said.
He said Jamaica will also be actively engaged in on-going discussion at the multilateral level, aimed at addressing the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
"As a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), we will continue to support adherence to the fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth,” the Governor-General added.
The CMAG was established at the 1995 Commonwealth Heads of Government in Auckland, New Zealand, with the mandate to assess the nature of any infringement to the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth and recommend measures of collective action, aimed at the speedy resolution of democracy and constitutional rule.
Jamaica and the Foreign Ministers of eight other countries are members of CMAG. They are Australia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Maldives, Namibia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vanuatu.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter