Jamaica’s Prime Minister to address International Affairs Forum at Howard University

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson will discuss a range of issues related to democracy and development when he delivers the keynote address on Saturday, May 21, at an event being sponsored by the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Centre at Howard University in Washington D.C.

The event, which is also being co-sponsored by the National Coalition on Caribbean Affairs (NCOCA), TransAfrica Forum and the National Capital area chapter of the United Nations Association, will be attended by an audience of international affairs experts, opinion leaders focusing on international development issues, representatives of international organizations in Washington, U.S. government officials, as well as members of the Caribbean diplomatic corps.

The Prime Minister’s submission is part of a series of presentations at the Ralph Bunche Centre, which seek to direct an increased focus on development issues and other topics, such as peace and security.

Mr. Patterson will discuss these issues within the context of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, mandating all 191 UN member states to redouble their efforts in seeking to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and to design a global partnership for development, among other things.

Speaking to the importance of the Prime Minister’s presentation, former Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Curtis Ward, noted that the speech was timely, given the fact that in many developing countries the goal of reducing poverty, hunger and infant mortality continued to be a formidable challenge, with the majority of countries failing to meet important targets due to a lack of resources and essential expertise.

“Development assistance continues to be below the level required to meet these development goals. In addition, the report of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which will be considered by the UN General Assembly in September of this year, has made a number of recommendations (related to) development, human rights, reform of the United Nations, and the strengthening of the UN’s capacity on counter-terrorism implementation,” he said.

“Given the importance of these recommendations to Jamaica, the Caribbean, and the broader developing world, we are delighted that Prime Minister Patterson has agreed to bring into clearer focus these continuing challenges and to add his very important perspectives to this debate,” Ambassador Ward added.

In addition to addressing the Howard University Forum, Mr. Patterson will also attend a function hosted by the Washington chapter of the University of the West Indies Guild of Graduates, which will also be attended by UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne.

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