JOINT STATEMENT: National Security and Public Safety Focus of First Vale Royal Talks

Photo: Michael Sloley Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (third left), pays keen attention during the Vale Royal talks at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Mona on April 4. Others participating (from left) are Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck; National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang; Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague; Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw; Deputy Principal, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa; Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth; UWI Registrar, C. William Iton; Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, Phillip Paulwell; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Fitz Jackson; and Opposition Spokesman on Information and the Knowledge Economy, Julian Robinson.

The governing Jamaica Labour Party and the Opposition People’s National Party today (April 4) convened the first in a series of Vale Royal Talks at the University of the West Indies Regional Office.

The meeting, which is part of a collaborative and constructive dialogue between the Government and Opposition, focused on a number of important national issues.

The leaders held frank and in-depth discussions on national security, crime, violence and public safety as well as discussions on important legislation proposed by the Government.

The discussions included:
1. Crime and National Security
2. Parliamentary Procedures and Committees
3. Voter Re-verification

Prime Minister Holness and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips found common ground on several important issues of national development and pledged to continue discussions to arrive unified conclusions on the way forward.

Particularly, it was agreed that several draft policies and bills would be shared for future discussions.

Both sides agreed that the Electoral Commission of Jamaica would provide, a plan within a month on how to ensure the maintenance of clean voters’ list.

There was also a decision to consider the inclusion of private sector, church and civil society groups periodically to participate in the dialogue on crime, violence and public order.

Both leaders spoke of the importance of ensuring the positive framework established through the Vale Royal Talks, is preserved and encouraged.

Horace Chang
General Secretary – Jamaica Labour Party

Julian Robinson
General Secretary – People’s National Party

JIS Social