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At UN, Jamaica urges partnerships to tackle climate impacts, economic fragility in small islands

Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica addresses the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica addresses the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly. photo credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak

Galvanizing an effective global fundraising campaign to address climate change and achieve sustainable economic growth is key for small island developing States, Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, told world leaders at the seventy-third United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

Mr. Holness expressed concerns over his country’s vulnerability to a raft of social, economic, environmental, financial and trade-related hazards.

“Together with persistent challenges linked to climate change and more frequent intense weather events; these all impact the pace of our development,” he told world leaders gathered in New York for the Assembly’s annual general debate.

As a small island developing state, Jamaica is pursuing policies to secure its economic independence, Mr. Holness said, also stressing the importance for his country to foster traditional partnerships and build new ones.

He went on to add that Jamaica’s representation for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at outreach sessions this year demonstrated “extremely influential groupings of countries.”

“Jamaica believes that groupings like these, have a unique opportunity, working alongside the international development partners, to address the problems that face weaker economies across the globe,” said Mr. Holness.

Spotlighting that many SIDS are extremely indebted and vulnerable, he highly commended the work of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to tackle the gap for middle-income countries.

Prime Minister Holness further reiterated his call for collaborative partnerships with international financial institutions, UN member states and the private sector to mobilize funding for Jamaica’s sustainable development.

On commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mr. Holness said Jamaica has been the first country to incorporate human rights into their foreign policy strategy, which is a principle that they guard fiercely.

 

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