Every year since 1948, the 24th of October has been celebrated globally as United Nations (UN) Day. This is in commemoration of the founding of the Organisation with the ratification of its Charter by the five (5) Permanent Members of the Security Council, namely: France, the People’s Republic of China, the former Soviet Union (now the Russian Federation), the United Kingdom and the United States of America. As a member of the United Nations since independence, Jamaica is pleased to join with the International Community in celebrating United Nations Day which, this year, is being celebrated under the theme: “Global Progress”.
The United Nations has remained true to its mandate in the more than six (6) decades since its inception and continues to be at the forefront in the quest for international peace and security, development and the promotion and protection of human rights. It has also proved to be responsive to the dynamic global environment as the United Nation strives to address the new and emerging challenges of the 21st Century. This is being advanced as the United Nations sustains its role as a multifaceted global steward and continues to lead the charge on issues such as climate change, sustainable development, health, disarmament, democracy and good governance- all while coordinating efforts for a safer and more just world.
As a responsible member of the Organisation, Jamaica continues to contribute actively to the framing of the various aspects of its work. Many Jamaicans have worked at senior levels in the Organisation thus making tangible contributions. We also continue to participate in peacekeeping, as Jamaican policemen and policewomen serve as members in peacekeeping troops in various conflict areas of the world. Here at home, we continue to value highly the support provided by the United Nations through the United Nations Resident Coordinator and the staff in the various UN offices, as they work to implement the cooperation programme provided through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.
We look forward to the deepening of such cooperation particularly as the United Nations will, in 2014, be paying particular attention to the concerns of Small Island Developing States. As a Small Island Developing State, Jamaica welcomes the designation of 2014 as the International Year of SIDS and looks forward to the convening of the Third International Conference on SIDS also in 2014.
The Organization, however, is not without its fair share of challenges. It has been forced to rethink its strategy in response to the changing global needs, particularly in the developing world. The Government of Jamaica, therefore, commends the United Nations on its recognition of the need for the elaboration of a Post-2015 Development Agenda that is universal, people-centered and sustainable.
Jamaica is supportive of such an agenda as it should lead to an end to extreme poverty and allow for an inclusive and sustained path to prosperity. The five big transformative shifts articulated in the Report of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which are also in line with the objectives of Jamaica’s Vision 2030 – National Development Plan, can assist in the achievement of development of all. To ensure this, the five transformative shifts will require that:
1. No one is left behind;
2. Sustainable development is put at the core of the agenda;
3. Economies are transformed so as to create jobs and inclusive growth;
4. There is a building of peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all;
5. A new global partnership is forged.
Jamaica fully believes in the building and effective execution of global partnerships as these are key to ensuring global peace and development. We therefore welcome Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s proposal for a new UN Initiative in the form of a UN Partnership Facility, geared towards harnessing the full potential for partnerships with corporate society.In line with this, the Government of Jamaica has already forged its own Social Partnership Agreement in July 2013 with a range of stakeholders, including the trade unions, civil society and the private sector. The United Nations is therefore strategically placed to advance such global partnerships.
As we commemorate the 68th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter, it is our hope that the principles and the purposes enshrined therein will continue to be observed. I take this opportunity to reaffirm the firm commitment of the Government of Jamaica to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and to ensuring that the aims and objectives of this noble institution are advanced in fulfillment of the needs of both present and future generations.