JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has called on members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to act in unison to address the challenges facing the countries of the hemisphere.
  • These, he said, include crime, gender-based violence, irregular migration and the increasing number of refugees.
  • “These are all problems that need our collaborative efforts to resolve,” he said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has called on members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to act in unison to address the challenges facing the countries of the hemisphere.

These, he said, include crime, gender-based violence, irregular migration and the increasing number of refugees.

“These are all problems that need our collaborative efforts to resolve,” he said.

“We must act in unison, as a hemisphere, to address the pressing needs of those whom we are called to serve, with fairness and respect for the rule of law, as enshrined in the Charter of the OAS and other legal instruments, which guide this noble institution, to which all 35 countries committed to conform,” he added.

The Prime Minister, who was speaking at the Protocolary Session of the OAS, held in Washington DC on November 27, noted that the complex and dynamic challenges facing the region require innovative solutions “which I believe are realistically attainable and which an inclusive and well-managed OAS can deliver”.

“The birth of the OAS came with much promise and acclaim to realise the dream of our forefathers. Seventy years later, I am sure that we can all agree that much has been accomplished… [and] given its role as the premier hemispheric institution, it is needed now more than ever,” he said.

Mr. Holness said that as regional states confront complex issues, the OAS cannot ignore or lose sight of the challenges posed by underdevelopment and extreme poverty across the hemisphere.

He noted that for developing countries like Jamaica, achieving sustained economic growth lies in the ability to overcome myriad challenges ranging from socio-economic and environmental to trade related, and financial pitfalls “which we continue to encounter at every turn”.

He noted that a central tenet of his Administration’s focus is achieving five per cent growth in four years, adding that “we believe that there can be no prosperity without growth and no development without prosperity”.

The Prime Minister said that notwithstanding the challenges, the Government has placed the people at the forefront of its development agenda as outlined in the long-term national development plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica.

Additionally, he noted that through the global Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, “we will ensure that no one is left behind”.

This, he said “is the only way that we can attain the target of developed country status by 2030”.

“In a globalised and interdependent world, we look forward to the guidance and assistance of our traditional, as well as, our new partners and alliances, including member states of the OAS, as we pursue those objectives,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Holness said that as the OAS looks to the next 70 years, the organisation must take stock of the successes and failures in order to determine its focus and the adequacy of its current structure, staffing, budgetary allocations and legislative framework.

“In all of this, the OAS must remain people-centred and true to the pillars of its foundation,” he added.