KINGSTON — The goal of achieving greater dialogue and consensus around national issues and challenges will take an important step forward on September 20 when leaders across sectors sign the code of conduct that will provide momentum for the Partnership for Transformation (PFT) process.
The move comes after three years of monthly meetings at Jamaica House, involving leaders from government, private sector, trade unions, and civil society, which were chaired by Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen in his 2011 Throne Speech delivered in March, called for the 38-member PFT to reach consensus, when he urged leaders to “allow the dialogue to mature” so that the work of improving the country can continue.
In his message on the launch of the National Development Plan (Vision 2030), Prime Minister Golding said he was resolute in his commitment to lead the transformation process. He stated that “victory and success hinge on sustained public-private partnership and dialogue."
Mr. Golding has also said that the PFT was already having national impact as it was the “consultative machinery” informing policy.
Over the three years, the council has been hammering out consensus around eight key areas of focus for economic and national development: law and order; tax reform; fiscal and monetary performance; education and training; job creation/employment strategies; the labour market; energy management and conservation; and trust among partners.
Minister with responsibility for the public service, Senator Arthur Williams, who heads the PFT communications sub-committee, said that the decision to launch the code of conduct comes as partners now agreed on the fundamental platforms for social and economic improvement.
“We will not agree to every detail but must undertake a process of transformation that will take us towards a shared vision,” Minister Williams said.
Professor Trevor Munroe, member of the PFT, and chair of the Trust Among Partners working team, said that the code of conduct “is an opportunity for representatives of sector groups to affirm their commitment to adhere to ethical behaviour and values so that partners can seek mutually acceptable solutions through a genuine exchange of views and information."
The Umbrella Group of Churches is represented on the PFT Council and the Trust Among Partners working team by Rev. Len Anglin, who said that the PFT discussions are vital.
"We are convinced that we need to harness all our talents, sit together and map out the future of this country. There is no perfect situation within the limitations of our human frailties, but we are at a place where we can move on and really build this nation," Rev. Anglin said.
The PFT represents the relentless efforts of successive governments to forge a viable social partnership. The signing of a code of conduct is a commitment by partners to adhere to values and conduct that advance public consultation. Key guiding principles are trust, patience, respect and humility.
The PFT council members represent the youth; the environment; the private sector; small business; academia; human rights; religion and government.
By Gwyneth Davidson