Sun | Oct 1, 2023

#JLP79 | Johnson Smith gets special mention from Holness

Published:Sunday | November 20, 2022 | 3:17 PM
Senator Johnson Smith has led the foreign ministry since March 2016. - File photo

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, specially recognised the work of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith at his party's annual conference in St Andrew on Sunday. 

"I want to highlight the work of... Kamina Johnson Smith, who has been a very active and widely acknowledged player in critical roles and fora on the international stage," Holness said, to open his address. 

Holness then said that Jamaica is going through a period of 'repair, recovery and transition'. 

Johnson Smith, who was in attendance, stood to acknowledged the praise from the head of  government and party leader. 

Senator Johnson Smith has led the foreign ministry since March 2016. 

There are media reports of an impending Cabinet reshuffle but the government has not addressed those rumours. 

Meanwhile, Holness that highlighted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diaspora played a critical role in supporting Jamaica's foreign exchange through remittances, a major source of income for the country. 

"I want to say to our extended family overseas, that Jamaica, and this is a message that is relevant to Jamaicans here as well, that Jamaica is going through a period of repair, recovery and transition from the destruction of the decade of the 70s which caused the greatest post-independence flight of talent, skill and enterprise from our shores," Holness said. 

He said this process is happening in the context of a liberal democracy; a strong two-party system and in the era of social media. 

"So, the transition/the recovery, can look chaotic, but I want to assure you that with the Jamaica Labour Party leading, this transition and recovery will be done in a orderly, fair, equitable and efficient manner," Holness said, as members of the diplomatic community watched from the audience. 

"You are seeing the change right in front of your eyes! You're seeing the order and the organisation. You're seeing the discipline and that is not just within the party, it is translated into our Government and how we operate. There is a good story to be told, but the algorithms of social media are not going to push those stories to your devices. There are those who are vested in only telling you the bad news!" he said. 

He argued that although  state that persons are also going out of their way to create false narratives and plan demonstrations and try to pass them off as organic. 

He said the JLP continues to be a practical and balancing voice regionally and globally, playing critical roles in various negotiations and disaster response.  

- Ainsworth Morris

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