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UN Jamaica commemorates UN76 with tribute to frontline heroes and renewal of SDG partnerships

UN Jamaica will light buildings blue for one week to honour all workers on the front line of the COVID-19 response.
UN Jamaica will light buildings blue for one week to honour all workers on the front line of the COVID-19 response. Photo: UN RCO Jamaica

Kingston, 17 October 2021 - United Nations Jamaica will mark this year’s UN Day through initiatives including a three-day Virtual Partnership Forum and a week-long campaign dedicated to frontline workers who continue to support Jamaica’s COVID-19 response and recovery.      

UN Day recognizes the founding of the intergovernmental organisation on October 24, 1945. Jamaica’s UN Country Team (UNCT) will commemorate UN76 under the theme, “Partnerships for Peace, Planet and Prosperity” – a recognition of the collaborative model with which UN programming engages and empowers partners to achieve national and global goals. 

“Framed within the current context of developing a new roadmap for the UN’s engagement with Caribbean member states (the Multi-country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2022-2026), the week’s events will increase awareness of UN programmes, especially within the context of COVID-19. The initiatives will also influence our upcoming Partnership Landscape Assessment and inform a revised UNCT strategy for partner engagement and resource mobilization for Jamaica,” Dr. Garry Conille, UN Resident Coordinator said.

Dr. Wayne Henry, Chairman and Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), one of the UN’s key strategic partners, congratulated the organisation on its achievements and impact. 

“Currently, Jamaica is the beneficiary of assistance from 13 UN agencies. We appreciate the often-innovative approaches that the UN brings, as well as the breadth of the international expertise that they are able to mobilize for the benefit of the country. The Planning Institute of Jamaica offers congratulations to the UN for their work locally and globally over 70 years. We are pleased to have been partners with the UN since 1962, and we recognize that the work of this organisation has significantly advanced Jamaica’s development priorities over the period,” Dr. Henry said.

The UN Virtual Partnership Forum will be held on October 20 through 22 to further engage and forge relationships, among development partners, private and third sectors, civil society, academia, and the wider population, for national development. 

The event will feature over 50 speakers from the Government of Jamaica, the international development partner community, private sector and private foundations, academia, NGOs, CSOs and other community-based organisations. Speakers include The Hon. Dr. Horace Chang CD, MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security; Mr. Courtenay Rattray, UN Under-Secretary-General and former Jamaican Ambassador to the UN; Dr. Dana Morris Dixon, Assistant General Manager Jamaica National Group; Andrea Dempster-Chung, Co-founder and Executive Director Kingston Creative; Heidi Clarke, Executive Director Sandals Foundation and Caroline Mahfood, Executive Director, GraceKennedy Foundation.

The Forum will also showcase over 20 organisations and national programmes including the UN’s Human Security Trust Fund Joint Programme for climate resilience and the European Union and UN’s Spotlight Initiative. 

“Spotlight represents one of the UN’s most noted joint programmes working to end family violence. Working with the EU, government, women’s institutions and other civil society groups, Spotlight’s whole-of-society approach exemplifies the power of partnerships to tackle developmental challenges like gender-based violence. We are happy to share this progress.” Alicia Bowen-McCulskie, Spotlight Initiative Programme Coordinator said.

“We are pleased to recognize the PIOJ, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Kingston Creative, Sandals Foundation and the GraceKennedy Foundation as our main partners for this event. We invite persons from all sectors to take advantage of this opportunity to share, learn and glean from the best practices that will be on display from the community of national and world changers, which we have convened. Persons may register at unjamaica.vfairs.com to join the exciting multi-platform event which will happen via Vfairs, Zoom, Facebook and YouTube,” Maxsalia Salmon, Partnerships and Development Finance Officer, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office said. 

Presenters are expected to echo the value and share examples of how multi-sectoral, inclusive and partnership-driven programmes are producing real results in the lives of Jamaicans.

The week also features Light Jamaica Blue, a special ‘thank-you’ to frontline workers on the heels of Jamaica’s Heroes Day and Heritage Week – in response to the call from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, to especially recognize frontline heroes at this time. It also serves to increase awareness around UN programmes that have and continue to support recovery from the pandemic.

From October 17 through 24, a growing list of public and private sector organisations across Jamaica will show their appreciation to Jamaica’s heroes of the pandemic by illuminating the exterior of their buildings in blue light as well as through other opportunities. Light Jamaica Blue recognizes the wide range of essential staff, who continue to partner with the people and government to help reduce, avert and recover from the impact of COVID-19.  Lights will run from 6 pm onwards – during the times when many frontline workers traverse the corridors of the country – keeping Jamaicans safe and the heart of the economy beating. The colour blue is integral to the United Nations' visual identity and symbolizes peace and unity.

To date, the UN has invested close to USD $5M in support of the COVID response and recovery in Jamaica. Support has come in the form of PPEs, vaccines and supply chain management, health equipment, cash transfers, tablets for students, agriculture-buyback, and other programmes. 

According to Dr. Conille, Light Jamaica Blue brings the wider population into a spirit of gratitude for the often-unsung heroes of this pandemic. 

“Through their selfless efforts, our frontline workers have helped us to face unprecedented challenges. From those in healthcare to those in agriculture, education, sanitation and homecare, these heroes deserve to be celebrated by all,” Dr. Conille said.

Light Jamaica Blue partners include The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, The Sandals Foundation, King’s House and the Governor General’s Programme for Excellence, AC Hotel Kingston, ATL Automotive, Spanish Court Hotel, S Hotel Montego Bay, Jewel Paradise Cove, Jamaica Stock Exchange, GraceKennedy, The Embassy of Spain, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, The Canadian High Commission, The Nigerian High Commission, The Embassy of Japan and others.

Jamaicans at home and abroad are also invited to look forward to a Special Issue UN Day Magazine, in the October 24 Sunday Gleaner and online. The feature will highlight areas in which the UN and its partners have impacted the lives of Jamaicans. Featured content includes human interest stories from the beneficiaries and implementing partners, as well as official messages from leaders in Government.

Details and updates will be posted at unjamaica.vfairs.com and jamaica.un.com.

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Communications & Press Materials: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1pbcxKs84KCOVuz2P60tuGPOh5R1JymWC?usp=sharing

 

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