Jamaica's leaders continue to weigh in on the question: Why is unity important at this time as we celebrate Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence and what this will mean for Jamaica going forward?
Georgia Lewis Scott, executive director, Youth Opportunities Unlimited
A unified nation stands on the foundation of responsibility to ourselves and to our fellow Jamaicans. We must behave with integrity and accountability. Unity leads to a secure atmosphere in which all Jamaicans recognise both our distant and recent history, acknowledge our accomplishments and heed our calls to act with dignity.
We recognise that regardless of background, all Jamaicans are valued. A unified nation moves in one accord towards a set of goals that have been agreed upon and on which which a strong and honourable nation can be built. Commitment, teamwork, respect, integrity, sincerity, transparency and trust are all hallmarks of a unified nation.
Joseph J. Issa, chairman, Cool Group of Companies
It was the 19th-century American poet and songwriter George Pope Morris who coined the phrase: "United we stand, divided we fall." "Even the weak become strong when they are united," Johann Friedrich Von Schiller also said. Many others have written of the wisdom of unity and the folly of disunity and its negative outcomes: from the break-up of the Federation in the 1950s, to the disputes surrounding the colours of the national flag and our 50th Independence anniversary celebrations.
All of this is much to the chagrin of our diaspora, on whose remittances we so heavily rely, and the international community, whose respect for our institutions and processes are critical for our credibility. We cannot afford to continue on the same destructive path; we have to recommit to a united Jamaica as we move into the next half-century.