News from the OPM

No State Will Be Left Behind – PM Holness

No State Will Be Left Behind – PM Holness
The Most Hon. Andrew Holness with Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade after meeting with the ACP Ambassadors in Brussels earlier this week.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica has taken seriously its responsibility to each state within the African, Caribbean & Pacific (ACP) Group of States council, noting that no state will be left behind in the process.

The Prime Minister stated that along with the CARIFORUM Group of states that Jamaica represents, the Council is committed to promoting a process of collaboration.

“The ACP Group has a rich history and has accomplished much through its unity, strength and solidarity. Indeed, the Eminent Persons Group affirmed in its Report entitled, “ACP: A New Vision for Our Future”, that the ACP Group’s major strength lies in its ability to serve as a platform for its Member Countries to engage with bilateral and multilateral partners in order to secure sustainable development, inclusive growth and poverty eradication for its 1.1 billion people,” said Prime Minister Holness.

The Prime Minister was speaking to ACP Ambassadors in Brussels earlier this week ahead of attending the Commonwealth Summit in London.

Mr. Holness highlighted the significant benefits of the ACP relationship which he stated has manifested at different levels.

“A significant contribution to the eradication of poverty; Improved and more equitable access to basic services and infrastructure; Increased awareness of the environment and climate change and Enhancedmutual understanding through political dialogue. It is our desire therefore to see this relationship continue in a structured framework beyond 2020, preferably within the context of an all-ACP framework,” stated Mr. Holness.

The Prime Minister further explained that the ACP must reflect and examine itself in order to remain viable.

“ACP Member States must commit to a process of reinventing and repositioning of the Group into a modern, fit-for-purpose, inter-governmental organization. Jamaica therefore stands ready to support a process of operationalization of the aspirations for a revitalized ACP, as outlined in the Policy document – “Towards the ACP We Want”.  If the reform process is to be successful, it must be pursued in an atmosphere of transparency and trust, where both pragmatism and compromise can prevail, and where our collective efforts can give rise to an effectively reformed ACP Group of which we can all be justly proud. Undoubtedly, a transformed ACP Group will be able to better empower the more than one billion people that it represents across the three regions,” stressed Mr. Holness

He added that in the coming days the ACP, United Nations and the Commonwealth will meet to discuss key issues as well as to establish synergies.

“Undoubtedly, our efforts to address our common challenges will have the best prospects for success, if mounted from a united front. Together, we can engage Third Parties in meaningful dialogue aimed at changing, among other things,the criteria for development support, as well as for establishing international standards for growth, which have continued to impede our development process,” said Prime Minister Holness.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Jamaica’s commitment toward the advancement of a renewed partnership with the EU.

“I encourage you to commit to open and frank dialogue in the spirit of friendship and solidarity that has been the hallmark of ACP partnership over more than half a century.  Let us never abandon that invaluable collaborative framework, which has served us well in the past and will continue to be our guide, in the years ahead,” said Mr. Holness.