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UN vows to stand by Jamaica during tough times

Published:Saturday | January 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

AS JAMAICA eagerly awaits the results of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Arun Kashyup is reassuring Jamaicans that the UN is committed to assisting the Government in tackling the deep economic crisis facing the country.

"A major challenge currently faced by the country is to find a solution with the IMF to (address) the country's high debt-to-GDP ratio with consequent limited fiscal space that adversely influences employment, trade deficit and capital flows," he said.

"The policy agenda in 2013 would be led by finding sustainable solutions to address … a high public-debt burden, poor economic growth, and issues of citizen security, while creating livelihoods and decent jobs," he added.

Kashyup was speaking yesterday during a courtesy call on Governor General Sir Patrick Allen at King's House.

WOMEN UNDER-REPRESENTED

The UN official also pointed to what he described as the under-representation of women in the decision-making process and highlighted various shortcomings within the education and health sectors.

"'There is a low representation of women in Parliament and in other areas of decision making with a significantly higher rate of unemployment for women, despite their educational gains," he said.

"On behalf of the United Nations, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to cooperate and work with the Government of Jamaica and the Jamaican people to identify and implement sustainable and inclusive solutions to meet the human-development needs of Jamaicans," Kashyup stated.