JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding has said that Jamaica remains committed to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in recognition of the fact that changes in the global environment requires readjusting the approach to regional integration.
Mr. Golding made the statement in his inaugural address as Prime Minister of Jamaica, on (Sept. 11) swearing-in ceremony at King’s House.
“I have long maintained that we cannot continue to stare at each other each with our own pair of eyes, the future of CARICOM, indeed the future of our individual countries requires that we look at the world with 15 pairs of eyes. If two eyes are better than one, 30 eyes must be considerably better than two,” he said.
The country’s eighth Prime Minister further said that not much could be gained by redistributing the limited wealth that exists within the region, but “much more can be gained by developing the synergies and the capacity to create new wealth by exploiting the opportunities that exist in the rest of the world – opportunities which, individually, may be beyond our reach but, together, may be within our grasp”. He noted that the Caribbean is facing exciting and challenging times and as Jamaica begins a new chapter in its history, he was mindful of the challenges that it faced as a country, including the issue of crime, which he said must be tackled, on all fronts.
Mr. Golding said employment and other economic opportunities must be created so that young people, in particular, can be hopeful. He pointed to what he said was the persistent cry for justice from many in the society, as an issue to which the government must respond. “Justice for every citizen is not a benevolent gift to be bestowed. It is a right that must be guaranteed,” he stated.
Notwithstanding these issues, the Prime Minister said Jamaicans have the capacity to beat the odds and should resist the temptation to lower expectations or lose faith. “We cannot afford to excuse failure, to celebrate mediocrity. We must rate ourselves on what we should be achieving, what our competitors are achieving. We must stop taking comfort in how much worse things could have been,” he told the gathering. “I believe that we can create a social order in which that youth, whether in Majesty Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, Olympic Gardens or Arnett Gardens, whatever the colour of his skin, no matter how shabbily he may be dressed, however uneducated he might be, can be assured that his rights will be protected and his dignity respected no less than the man in his tailored suit and fancy car. That doesn’t cost money. That doesn’t endanger the fiscal deficit. It takes political will,” he stated.

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