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JIS News

Today, we celebrate Commonwealth Day, and, in doing so, Jamaica’s, membership of the Commonwealth family of nations.
It is 44 years since Jamaica joined the Commonwealth. Today we renew our commitment to its shared values of tolerance, respect and equality and to uphold its fundamental principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law and sustainable socio-economic development.
This year, we pay special attention to the virtues of health and vitality. We recognized that our nations are stronger when there is access to good food, clean water and health living conditions. It is in all our interest to work to provide the highest possible standards for all Commonwealth people.
Membership of the Commonwealth enhances our reputation around the world as it brings a collective dimension to our glob interests. We, in Jamaica, are much stronger knowing that our one voice has the support of 52 other nations. We know the Commonwealth is a trusted partner and welcome its style of global diplomacy, which uses the power of consensus to make multilateralism work.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta last year reaffirmed our commitment to each other. As one of the leaders who attended CHOGM, I can say that our private discussions were candid and productive. There is no other forum where we can speak openly about the needs of our citizens or sit at the negotiation table on the basis of equality. We may have distant partners but our collective ambitions have never been closer.
The people of Jamaica can feel confident that through our Commonwealth connections we are stronger. Our solidarity is our strength, our shared values, conventions and institutions provide the platform to build peace and deliver prosperity to all our people.
So, in the spirit of solidarity, let us cherish this valuable partnership as we celebrate Commonwealth Day 2006.