Speeches by the Prime Minister

PM Holness Remarks at the 1st Extraordinary Inter-Sessional Summit of the OACPS
Statement from Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Policy Statement – Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the General Debate – 74Th Session of the United Nations General Assembly New York, 27th September 2019
Intervention by Prime Minister of Jamaica the Most Hon Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative High Level Event: Progress and Perspectives on Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls, UNGA, New York
Report delivered by the Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP  on behalf of the Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing Track

Statement on COVID-19 Measures by The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP, Prime Minister To the Houses of Parliament Jamaica Conference Centre on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

August, 03 2021
Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Madam Deputy Speaker, I wanted to update Parliament on the proposed measures for December 2020 prior to the enactment of the new Orders under the Disaster Risk Management Act.  We must take measures now to continue our measured, evidence-based, proportionate and situationally appropriate risk-based management approach to the pandemic.   We are now approaching another period of high risk for us in the pandemic.  We're now approaching another period of high risk for us as a nation in the pandemic. This is a period of time when we will be seeing higher levels of travel both internally and from overseas. It is a period of time when Jamaicans are looking forward to the traditional merriment that is associated with the Christmas season. Those factors contribute to this period being a higher risk period than normal. It is a difficult balance to fulfil the expectations of the season, anticipated increase in commercial activity, while at the same time keeping the population safe and not overwhelm our health system.   We must remain diligent in our adherence to the infection prevention and control measures and not jeopardize our recovery prospects in 2021.   Our measures for the…


August, 01 2021
183 years ago today on August 1, 1838, the descendants of trafficked and enslaved Africans, who themselves grew up in generations of slavery, finally celebrated their full freedom, as declared in the Emancipation proclamation. There are many reasons to be considered as to why the British Parliament decided to end slavery as a means of social and economic organization in its colonies. The abolitionist movement and a growing consciousness of the inhumanity of slavery would have played a part. Eric Williams in his celebrated thesis on Capitalism and Slavery contended that sugar and how it was produced through the plantation system became increasingly unprofitable and costly to maintain. However, we must never overlook or underplay the role that our forebears played in resisting and rebelling against slavery. Though the system of chattel slavery was total in its control and dehumanization, it could not completely eliminate our dignity and the spirit of resistance to oppression. Our forebears were not passive and obsequious onlookers, waiting for freedom to be handed to them. They actively rejected the idea of enslavement and fought it physically, often making the ultimate sacrifice; paying with their lives as did Sam Sharpe and many other nameless fighters. Today,…

Address By The Most Honourable Andrew Holness ON, PC, MP Prime Minister of Jamaica At the Handing Over of Tablets to Calabar Infant and Primary on May 14, 2021

May, 15 2021
Good morning again. Now, let me acknowledge Councillor Rosalie Hamilton. You're a longstanding councillor, you've been in this area representing for more than 20 years Rosie; very good, longstanding, and faithful councillor. Let me acknowledge the principal and vice-principal of your school. Let me acknowledge the Superintendent who is doing an amazing job and her team that is here. I know that this area, MP Williams, is not an easy area to manage and to service, but I wanted the people of Central Kingston to know that we know and understand the issues you face in this community and at another event, I'm going to address those issues specifically, but one of the issues you do face, which is facing all of Jamaica now, is access to learning and the Government is doing the best it can with the limited resources available to us because of the COVID pandemic. You would have all heard and understood that we have lost significant revenues, almost $2 billion from tourism alone. We have had a 10%, 11% decline in our economy. And at the same time, we've had to spend more on health and security, so there is a challenge for resources, but…

Remarks By Prime Minister Holness – Sitting of the House of Representatives on May 11, 2021

May, 13 2021
Madam speaker, I'm taking this matter on behalf of the Minister of Finance. Madam Speaker, I want to thank the members opposite, who have participated in this debate and have expressed important opinions, some of which are valid and I want to say from the outset that the government thought long and hard about going this route before we entered upon it, because we are quite seized of all the issues as it relates to the contracting with overseas firms, issues of securing value for money, the transparency of the use of public funds, all the issues that have been raised here quite ably by members of the opposition. So, it is not a matter that we take lightly. I would also want to say Madam Speaker, that this is not a route that should be used with any form of frequency, precisely for the reasons that have been raised but I wish to point out Madam Speaker, that it was the government at the time led by our friends opposite, who made a change to the procurement guidelines in 2015, Madam Speaker, and then they did it for good reason because it was quite clear that the old procurement…

Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness at United States of America Virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate Session 2 on Thursday, April 22, 2021

April, 23 2021
The Honourable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States of America, Excellencies and colleagues Happy Earth Day! The need for meaningful climate action has never been greater. Jamaica is heartened that the United States has re-joined the Paris Agreement - an important expression of global solidarity for climate action.  We are also greatly encouraged by the United States’ announcement to cut emissions by half by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm for Small Island Developing States with the collapse of tourism, falling revenues, rising debt, limited access to vaccines and with disasters continuously threatening lives and our sustainability. Governments are forced to choose between addressing today’s crises and building resilience to mitigate against future shocks. Notwithstanding these challenges, Jamaica’s enhanced NDCs target a 60% reduction in emissions by 2030. We, like all SIDS and many developing countries, remain committed to advancing climate action, and we are determined to build forward stronger, better and greener. The world COMMITTED to $100 billion per year to support climate action in developing countries. It is critical that this commitment not only be honored but that the ambition be increased and major emitters should contribute more to its financing. We…

First Shipment of Vaccine to Arrive in Jamaica

April, 10 2021
A wonderful day, but in particular, our health workers, all the doctors and nurses, and other frontline workers to particularly wish for them, very productive, very happy, international women's day. We truly do appreciate the work and the sacrifice that you have made. I'm also very happy, very happy to report to Jamaica today that this afternoon we received our first shipment of 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the government of India. We express our deep appreciation to the government and people of India for this very much needed support.  Our vaccination program will begin later this week starting with our healthcare workers as announced last week... and Minister Tufton who's here with me will give more details as to exactly how this will be rolled out.  Now, based on the latest report from this morning, Jamaica recorded 878 new cases of COVID-19. This is the third consecutive day of record numbers with 527 reported on Saturday and 723 reported on Sunday. Our cumulative cases of COVID-19 are now 26,904 and 454 persons have died due to the pandemic. I offer my sincere condolences to all who have lost loved ones.  We have had 14,447 persons who…

Virtual Launch of HEART Trust/ NSTA & Cisco Networking Academy

April, 10 2021
The Managing Director of HEART NSTA,  The Trust representatives And partners of the private sector and Civil Society and the public sector  Representatives of the media, Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.  The COVID-19 pandemic has very clearly highlighted that, to strengthen our resilience as a country, we need to reconfigure and transform our economy. In addition to the current disruption from the pandemic induce lockdowns and economic contraction, technological adoption by companies is transforming tasks, jobs, and skills. Automation in conjunction with the COVID-19 induce recession is creating a double disruption scenario for workers. The pace of technology adoption is expected to remain unabated and likely to accelerate in some areas. Although a number of jobs will be destroyed, there will be huge new opportunities created in the digital economy. The World Economic Forum, and the most recent, the future of jobs report estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by technology while 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour among humans, machines, and algorithms. In the absence of proactive efforts, inequality is likely to be exacerbated by the dual impact of technology and the pandemic recession. Jobs…

Prime Minister Holness Budget Presentation 2021

March, 18 2021
PM Budget Pres. 2021 (1)

NHT Windcrest Hill Handing-Over Ceremony

January, 22 2021
I received two conflicting calls, which I will just give you an insight into both before I begin my presentation and that is a precursor to an apology for being a few minutes after the start of the projected start time of this event, one call was prime minister, how other countries get vaccine, and we don't get the vaccine yet. And I proceeded to explain that we have vaccines on the way.  And then another call was prime minister make on an owner doing with this vaccine business room, because there is obviously the fear of vaccines, the ambivalence with vaccines. Again, I spent some time explaining the measures that are in place, and I could only conclude for both in reassuring that the government of Jamaica is doing everything possible to ensure that we have access to vaccines, but that whatever vaccines we decide to use here, that they are safe. Jamaica has had a long and successful history in deploying vaccines. I remember at primary school, when I had to stand in the line for the vaccine and some of you can relate to this, that when your time came at the front of the line, you…