Thu | Dec 7, 2023

Jamaica calls for commitment to global peace, support for Haiti

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2023 | 8:57 AM
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith. - File photo.

Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith has reiterated the island's commitment to world peace and has called for developed countries and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to work towards the peaceful resolutions to conflicts around the globe.

“On the matter of international peace and security, Jamaica firmly believes that dialogue, diplomacy, and cooperation are the most effective pathways to resolving competing interests. Jamaica, therefore, calls on all nations to prioritise the pursuit of peace over the perpetuation of conflict and aggression. We reiterate our call for an end to the war in Ukraine, and urge parties to regional and civil wars, to choose dialogue and co-existence over conflict, as it is ordinary people and the most vulnerable people who suffer the devastating consequences of war,” said Johnson Smith.

She made the call while delivering Jamaica's policy statement to the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, September 26.

“We are proud that Latin America and the Caribbean remains a declared Zone of Peace and a nuclear-free zone. We are, however, gravely concerned about growing global tensions and risks associated with nuclear proliferation, safety and use. Jamaica reiterates our longstanding position that all States must heed the call for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and refrain from the testing, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons,” she said.

Support for Haiti 

Johnson Smith used the opportunity to reiterate Jamaica's and the Caribbean Community's (CARICOM) call for international action to restore order and security in Haiti.

“It is critical that we fully support all meaningful efforts to contribute to Haitian-led solutions to the multi-dimensional and multi-faceted challenges with which they are faced. Let me be clear: there are no easy fixes. But let me be equally clear – doing nothing is not an option,” she said.

Johnson Smith said Jamaica supports the call for a multinational security support mission to bolster the Haitian National Police in its efforts to vanquish ever-strengthening criminal gangs.

She said that subject to the relevant Security Council resolution, Jamaica will contribute personnel to participate in such an effort.

“We have heard the clear call of the majority of the Haitian people as reflected in the polls conducted in Haiti by reputable local civil society and international agencies. We therefore urge the permanent members of the Security Council to put aside geo-political sensitivities and to answer the call of the Haitian people and of their brothers and sisters in the Caribbean region. A UNSC Chapter 7 resolution, authorising a multi-national security support mission must be adopted without further delay,” she said.

The Minister said that nations must act now if they are to meet the hopes, dreams and aspirations of present and future generations.

She noted that young people around the world have been expressing their frustrations, and have been calling for more from leaders.

She told delegates that Jamaica has made significant strides in recent years in the delivery of peace, prosperity, and progress for its people.

“Jamaica has long been committed to ambition and action beyond our size. Notwithstanding our limitations as a small island developing state, and even in the face of enormous challenges, we have made significant strides in recent years, in the delivery of peace, prosperity, and progress for our people. This has not been easy. It has required bold, strategic, inclusive and steady leadership, sustained commitment, hard decisions, and great collective sacrifice. We are a country with a strong track record of peace, democratic traditions, political stability and respect for human rights,” said Johnson Smith.

- Lester Hinds 

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