It was Hugh Lawson Shearer who delivered the policy statement and under whose initiative the proposal was developed. It was a demonstration of boldness and foresight that only a person of his sensitivity and awareness of the importance of the subject would convey.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness officially declared the new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade building in downtown Kingston, in honour of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Hugh Lawson Shearer.
The Prime Minister made the announcement yesterday (January 19, 2022) during the official opening ceremony of the Ministry’s headquarters on Port Royal Street Downtown.
The Most Hon. Hugh Lawson Shearer retains the title of the longest serving Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as Prime Minister from 1967 to 1972 and served simultaneously as Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and again as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Holness stated that the former Foreign Affairs Minister laid the foundation for a “principled and forthright foreign policy posture” which has served Jamaica well. He also noted that one of the most acclaimed initiatives presented in the very first policy statement to the United Nations General Assembly by the late Hugh Lawson Shearer in 1962 was the proposal for the declaration of an international year of human rights which was observed in 1968.
The Prime Minister said:
“It was Hugh Lawson Shearer who delivered the policy statement and under whose initiative the proposal was developed. It was a demonstration of boldness and foresight that only a person of his sensitivity and awareness of the importance of the subject would convey. Hugh Shearer went on to deliver Jamaica’s policy statement as a newly independent country annually until 1966, thus pioneering the development of the Jamaican foreign ministry.”
The naming of the new headquarters was approved by the Cabinet. In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness noted that former Prime Minister Shearer’s management of his portfolio at the Foreign Ministry was imbued with his conviction of the inextricable link between domestic and foreign policy.
“He led his staff to operate at their best and earned their admiration for his care, not only for Jamaica’s foreign policy and relations but also towards staff development and their personal interests,” said Prime Minister Holness.