J’ca Prime Minister calls for removal
March 18, 2005
J’ca Prime Minister calls for removal

OBSERVER -JAMAICA’S Prime Minister P J Patterson told Wednesday’s opening of the South Africa, African Union, Caribbean Diaspora Conference that there was need for international action to remove the remaining obstacles for the elimination of poverty and diseases. {{more}}

At the same time, he called for the reform of some United Nations-administered programmes, saying the areas of development cooperation, humanitarian affairs and disarmament were in need of rebuilding and improvement.

“There remains an urgent need to alter the design and function of the Security Council to fulfil its mandate in the realities of the world today,” Patterson said. “The case for the African continent to have a permanent voice in the deliberations of the Security Council is compelling and irrefutable and Jamaica and other Caribbean countries will support that,” he added.

The conference, being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in the island’s capital, Kingston, under the theme “Towards Unity and United Action of South Africans and the African Diaspora in the Caribbean for A Better World: The Case of South Africa”, takes place over three days.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Dr Nkosaza Dlamini Zuma is hoping that the gathering, which includes representatives from 15 Caribbean nations, including Haiti, and delegates from South Africa and the African Union, will facilitate continuous exchange between the two regions as well as discussions on issues arising from the World Conference Against Racism.

The South African minister is also hoping that the conference will develop strategies to help the poorest of the poor in the regions.

“Among the issues that this conference will address is also how to assist the poorest of the poor, how to use our collective strengths to make social and economic progress in the world economy and to confront the international, financial and investment regimes that favour developed economies,” Zuma told the conference.

She said the exchange should also facilitate careful examination of the effects of climate change and “look at those who are most vulnerable and discuss what can be done”.

At the same time, Prime Minister Patterson said that proposals, developed to benefit the millions of people in Africa who seek the restoration of peace, security and the prevention and management of conflicts, must become operable in order to fulfill the hopes, aspirations and visions of African leaders and their people.

On Wednesday, the Jamaican Prime Minister likened the threat of the HIV/AIDS pandemic to a “brake” on economic growth and development on the African continent. The social and economic consequences of the disease, he said, were already affecting education, industry, agriculture, transport and human resources.

“Poverty reduction is therefore an overriding priority for governments on the African continent and in the Diaspora,” he said.