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Nicholson to respond to Opposition over UN ISIS resolution

Published:Thursday | October 9, 2014 | 7:47 PM

Foreign Minister A.J. Nicholson has promised to use the floor of the Senate Friday to explain Jamaica’s reasons for co-sponsoring a United Nations’ resolution to condemn the terrorist network, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).



Nicholson was responding to a statement from the parliamentary opposition, which has chastised the government for keeping its co-sponsorship of the agreement a secret.



Nicholson said he has "always" made a statement in the Senate advising the nation of what took place on any of his foreign trips.



The minister noted that there has been only one sitting of the Senate since the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.



Nicholson said Jamaica supports efforts to continue to give priority attention to combating the spread of terrorism, including focusing on finding a multi-dimensional and comprehensive approach to the problem.



"This is critical to addressing the root causes of terrorism, to finding consensus on an appropriate definition of what is terrorism and to underscoring that the fight against terrorism should not be at the expense of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms," the minister said.



He added: "Jamaica also believes that the international community must increase efforts to counter transnational organised crime, narco trafficking and the illicit trade in small arms and ammunition, which threaten the rule of law and democratic governance in many countries and fuel the spread of international terrorism".



The resolution that has been co-sponsored by Jamaica puts a responsibility on member states to stop their citizens from leaving their homelands to join ISIS and other militant groups based in the Middle East and to block them from returning to threaten their native countries using passports already granted.



Ed Bartlett, the opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, said the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) fully supports the results of the UN Security Council’s vote on the resolution, which was approved 15-0.



But he was amazed that two weeks after the UN Security Council meeting, the Government has not addressed the nation on the commitment it made at the summit.



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