JIS News

Jamaica is to put forward its position on the reform of the United Nations (UN) and the Security Council, during its participation in the 60th General Assembly to be held in New York this September.
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister K.D. Knight speaking during his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on Tuesday (July 26) said Jamaica, like many other developing countries, was focused on the need for the UN to be reformed to underscore its relevance in the multilateral system and to ensure that it functioned in a transparent, equitable and fair manner in addressing international security and development issues.
Minister Knight said Jamaica’s perspective on the reform proposals reflected its interest in promoting and safeguarding the UN’s role in development cooperation and sustainable development.
He noted that Jamaica’s contribution, would be focused on the need to bring greater cooperation and coordination in the UN’s work programme particularly as it related to the development concerns of small, developing states and initiatives to alleviate poverty. He also pointed to the need for increased participation by developing states in the decision making process of the UN, to strengthen its capacity to consider development issues in the wider multilateral system.
Turning to the Security Council, Minister Knight said that Jamaica was in full support of the restructuring of this body, in terms of the addition of more permanent and non-permanent members, but noted that in making any changes, developing countries must be properly represented.
He noted also that, “other reforms to take place example in ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) should not be sidelined so as to accommodate the reform of the Security Council important though that is.”
Four countries led by Brazil, have formally introduced a proposal to enlarge the UN Security Council. Brazil, Germany, Japan and India want to add 10 more seats to the 15-member Council, six of them permanent without veto power and four non-permanent members.
At present, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China are the only permanent members of the UN body, with the power to veto. Ten other nations rotate in two-year terms. The proposed expansion is part of a broader plan to overhaul the UN.
The Foreign Affairs Minister also pointed to the need for changes as it related to human rights, noting that there should be equal treatment of all categories of human rights including the right to development without any kind of discrimination. He said that Jamaica, in its presentation, would call for a more democratic approach to the investigation of and reporting of the human rights situation at the national level, so that all countries were subjected to the same level of scrutiny. Calls will also be made, for an elimination of the selectivity and political biases propelling the international human rights agenda.
Prime Minister Patterson will attend the high level meeting in New York in September to put forward Jamaica’s position. The purpose of this summit is to review what headway has been made towards implementing the goals enshrined in the Millennium Declaration of 2000 and in particular the Millennium Development Goals.