JAMAICA-DEVELOPMENT- Grange warns of effect of slavery, climate change, global economic system on developing states

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PARIS, Nov. 5, CMC – Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, says the lingering effects of slavery continue to have an adverse effect on the development of Small Island Development States (SIDS), such as Jamaica.
Grange, made the statement in an address on Saturday at the 39th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.
She also noted that the global threat of climate change had added to the challenge of achieving sustainable prosperity.
“As a Small Island Developing State, we are in constant confrontation with the impact of climate change and the inequities of global economic systems that often result in serious social and psychological damage for our people. Add to that the residue of slavery and colonialism, and you get a prescription for disaster of one kind or another which we must constantly strive to mitigate.”
She added that in response – the Government of Jamaica will continue to focus on deepening the involvement and participation of youth in national affairs; creating new strategies and programmes reflecting lifelong learning, education for all, and quality education for success; as well as promoting higher incidence of youth employment in the cultural and creative industries sector.
Grange also highlighted the economic opportunities fora hosted by her ministry which are aimed at preparing mostly young people in communities contiguous to the Blue and John Crow Mountains to benefit from the location being declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
She advised that the government was working with the world’s greatest athlete, Usain Bolt, to establish the Caribbean Sports Medicine Centre to facilitate better medical response to athletes in the Caribbean and Latin America as part of Jamaica’s thrust to use sport to promote the creative sector as a catalyst for national development.
Grange applauded the efforts of the outgoing Director General of Unesco, Irina Bokova, “under whose tenure greater prominence has been given in the work of Unesco to the impact of climate change and for the initiatives aimed at promoting the importance of mitigation and building the resilience of SIDS to the impact of climate change.” Among the activities was the hosting in Jamaica of the first Caribbean Symposium on Climate Change and World Heritage in May, 2017.
The Minister said Jamaica would continue to be a strong voice for the development of policies and programmes at Unesco “particularly in the area of sustainable development.”
She appealed for support of Jamaica’s candidature for a seat on the Executive Board. The Executive Board is mandated to oversee the development of policies and programmes that direct Unesco’s operations.
“Jamaica stands ready as a member of the [Executive] Board to assiduously fulfil this mandate and contribute to strengthening the work of Unesco.
“It is our view that Unesco carries a heavy burden of responsibility to assist in tackling various global economic and political crises and in finding solutions that will promote sustainable development for all.”
The election of members of the Executive Board for the period 2017-2021 will take place on Wednesday.

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