Prime Minister Andrew Holness last night (Tuesday, September 25) engaged Jamaicans living in New York City in the United States of America.
Prime Minister Holness is in New York to attend and participate in the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The Prime Minister used the opportunity to meet with the Diaspora in keeping with his mission to update Jamaicans overseas and discuss matters involving Jamaica. He reassured those present that the strategies in place to deal with the issue of crime are bearing fruit.
“I want to assure you that the government has put in place several crime-fighting strategies but more than that we have put in place several national security strategies that are all working to improve the safety and security of Jamaicans. It is not something that is going to change overnight; it will not change by the snap of a finger or the flip of a switch. It will take some time to return Jamaica to the point where our murder rate was below 500 murders per year,” explained Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister further explained that the State of Public Emergency in sections of Jamaica is not a “panic” reaction but a strategic measure to restore confidence in the state.
“Normally when people hear SOE (State of Emergency), immediately there is a state of panic but in utilizing the state of emergency we’ve also done something to restore trust and confidence and faith in the Jamaican state because for the first time people see that the Jamaican state can use force without abuse,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness noted that the government is committed to ensuring that Jamaica remains attractive for investment opportunities.
In that regard, the Prime Minister said the “government is committed to first of all breaking the eco-system of crime that has taken over many of our communities in Jamaica.”
”As Jamaicans thinking about your country, you can feel proud to know that the security forces that come from the people are acting in the defence of the people and it will take some time for the citizens to acknowledge this point but once the acknowledgement is done, then you have a greater level of information sharing, a greater level of trust and once that happens the state becomes stronger and the dons become illegitimate,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Senator Matthew Samuda, as well as Trudy Deans, Consul General to New York were also in attendance at the meeting.