The Agualta Vale roundabout in St. Mary has been re-named the Robert Schuman Roundabout, in honour of one of the founding fathers of the European Union (EU).
This has been done by the administration to recognise Mr. Schuman’s contribution to advancing world peace, as well as the EU’s input in developing the 100-kilometre third segment of the North Coast Highway, between Ocho Rios, in St. Ann, and Port Antonio, in Portland.
The EU financed the development at a cost of $10 billion (€80 million), through grant funding, which included re-modelling of the roundabout, situated midway along the corridor.
The symbolic name change was formally effected during a ceremony at the roundabout, on May 9. The occasion was also used to commemorate Europe Day in Jamaica.
In his address, Transport, Works and Housing Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, noted that Mr. Schuman was a visionary, not only for European integration, but among nations globally.
“(He) saw that if there was collaboration between nations, if everyone could find a common objective to work towards, then war, which had so adversely affected the (European) countries and, indeed, other countries… would become a thing of the past,” Dr. Davies said, while conveying the administration’s gratitude for the EU’s support for a range of developmental projects islandwide.
Meanwhile, Head of the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Her Excellency Ambassador Paola Amadei, noted that the highway’s development is the largest infrastructure project funded by the EU, since the European Commission Delegation was established in Jamaica in 1976.
“We celebrate the completion of a major component of Jamaica’s road infrastructure, critical for the social and economic development of north eastern parishes and for the safety of its road users,” she said.
Ambassador Amadei pointed out that Jamaica has enjoyed close economic and political ties with European nations for many years, and that the process of European integration has brought “a constant enhancement” of these relationships.
“On behalf of the European Union, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Jamaica for deciding to name the roundabout after Mr. Robert Schuman…in honour of his pioneering work towards a united Europe and for his invaluable contribution in building a more peaceful world,” she said.
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. A. J. Nicholson, who also addressed the function, said renaming of the roundabout in honour of Mr. Schuman is not a “minor conferment,” as the EU, in its process of integration, unity, and diversity, had the tenets of the Schuman Declaration, as its “compass.”
“Robert Schuman, through this Declaration, crafted some 63 years ago, signaled to the world, his firm belief that a political and economic union was required for ensuring perpetual peace, stability and prosperity across Europe. Despite the many challenges that our nations face in today’s globalized world, the EU continues to be recognized for its commitment to peace, democracy and deepening of integration among its members,” he said.
Senator Nicholson assured that the administration remains steadfast in maintaining the relationship with the EU that facilitates shared development objectives.
Other speakers included: Jamaica Producers Group Limited Chairman, Charles Johnston, who gave his company’s undertaking to maintain the roundabout; former Custos of St. Mary, Hon. Alrick Pottinger, who deputized for current Custos, Hon. Jeffrey McKitty, who was unavoidably absent; and Opposition Spokesman on Transport, Works and Housing, Karl Samuda.
Contact: Douglas McIntosh