JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is advocating a partnership between the Government and Jamaicans that promotes an inclusive society, geared towards the eradication of social and economic inequality.
  • The Prime Minister’s message was read by student of the Salvation Army School for the Blind, Jasmin Deen, at a ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day, which was held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on March 14.
  • The decision to focus on persons with disabilities is as a result of the estimated 10 per cent of Jamaicans and the over one billion persons across the world living with disabilities.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is advocating a partnership between the Government and Jamaicans that promotes an inclusive society, geared towards the eradication of social and economic inequality.

In his Commonwealth Day message, the Prime Minister said such a society is one that empowers all Jamaicans to maximize their fullest potential, based on the tenets presented in the Vision 2030 Jamaica: National Development Plan.

The Prime Minister’s message was read by student of the Salvation Army School for the Blind, Jasmin Deen, at a ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day, which was held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on March 14.

The day was recognized under the theme: ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, with Jamaica’s focus on the inclusivity of persons with disabilities.

The decision to focus on persons with disabilities is as a result of the estimated 10 per cent of Jamaicans and the over one billion persons across the world living with disabilities.

Mr. Holness said that the Commonwealth is a testament to the principle of inclusiveness. According to the Prime Minister, it “promotes mutual understanding and respect for different cultures, while rejecting intolerance, prejudice and racism.”

“Over the years, the Commonwealth has worked assiduously to raise global awareness of the vulnerabilities and development needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), while forging partnerships that deliver tangible solutions,” he added.

In her remarks, read by a student of the Mona High School, Joe-Lee Williams, Opposition Leader, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said her administration was instrumental in enacting and strengthening legislation that empowered and enhanced the contribution of persons with disabilities.

She  indicated that the inclusion of Jamaica’s first visually impaired President of the Senate, Floyd Morris, speaks volumes of the vital contribution that persons with disabilities make to the society and the nation each day.

For his part, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles, said the Parliament of Jamaica is proud to be a part of one of the Commonwealth’s premier institutions–the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

In attendance at the ceremony were students and other persons from the disabled community; High Commissioner of the United Kingdom in Jamaica, His Excellency, David Fitton and Chargé d’Affaires at the High Commission for the Republic of South Africa, Phillip Riley.