As the New Year looms before us, and as we face the many challenges that confront us at the national, regional and global levels, it is time for us to make solid and achievable resolutions that will guide our personal and national actions towards the achievement of our stated objectives.

Nationally, ours is the task to create dynamic synergies that will transform the goals outlined in our Vision for Jamaica 2030 to become real achievements. And, regionally, we must strive to consolidate the gains made in our CARICOM relations, and take full advantage of new global trade initiatives and other agreements that can impact positively on national and regional development.

Here, at home, Jamaicans have a unique opportunity to reverse the negative trends of crime and violence by improving the parenting of our future leaders, and becoming active members of our society – participating in the growth of a national consciousness that is critical to the process of nation-building and sustainable development.

History has already taught us that crime and its attendant negatives can only retard our progress and isolate us from the international community. However, I am truly confident that we the people and the government of our country share a common vision and commitment to promote the well-being of our fellow Jamaicans.

Therefore, I urge all Jamaicans to make a concerted effort to attain the national goals embodied in our Vision 2030, to build our human capacity and strengthen our social fabric through the expansion of our education system, improvement of national institutions, and the enhancement of our service delivery.

Let us resolve that 2008 will be a year for national unity, peace, justice and healing, and let us commit ourselves to work towards creating a new Jamaica, in what must be, ‘a year of hope and renewal’.

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