Remarks by the Resident Coordinator on United Nations Day 2023
24 October 2023
Greetings on behalf of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the entire UN Country Team in Jamaica.
Resident Coordinator Dennis Zulu would have loved to be here today but has been called away on a mission to The Bahamas also celebrating United Nations Day.
Welcome to all of you. Let me personally express my thanks to Senator the Honorable Kamina Johnson Smith Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and President Christine Henderson of the United Nations Association of Jamaica (UNAJ) for truly demonstrating the power of partnerships to mobilise and facilitate a platform for youth voices and building SDG and UN-Jamaica awareness on this critical day on the UN Calendar.
Thanks to all of you, young people, for being here today. I also commend your parents and teachers for facilitating your sustained interest in nation-building and the Sustainable Development Goals. Give yourselves a round of applause.
UN Day Common Message
As young people, we are not blinded to the fact that you are very well attuned to the happenings of the world. Yes, the discussions and debates within the halls of the United Nations are a reflection of the world as it is, but we also know that the UN, its values and goals represent an aspiration of the world we know can be.
I also want to use this opportunity to remind you that you represent the best of our aspirations, and you are, in fact, the United Nations and the United Nations is you. As people and governments of the world, it is our collective responsibility to help build a Jamaica and a world of peace, sustainable development and human rights for all. And we can do it.
SDG and Vision 2030 Road Map
The Charter of the United Nations – which entered into force 78 years ago today – continues to ground us in the values needed for inclusive and sustainable development. Above all, it is rooted in a spirit of determination to heal divisions, repair relations, and build peace.
In 2015 member states enshrined these values in the Sustainable Development Goals a framework for building peace, repairing and sustaining the planet and ensuring all persons have a chance to live healthy lives free of poverty.
The UN is proud to recognize that Jamaica’s own national development plan is so strongly aligned with the SDGs. Vision 2030 Jamaica seeks:
To expand economic opportunities and leave no one behind,
To ensure justice, equality and empowerment for all Jamaicans including the most vulnerable, its youth, women and girls, and
To ensure and retain the health and resilience of Jamaica’s people and her beautiful natural resources.
UN and Jamaica Partnership
To this end, the United Nations is committed to being Jamaica’s steady partner in achieving its own agenda for sustainable development. In doing so, we continue to provide financial and technical support through a Cooperation Framework that is firmly built on Vision 2030.
As I close, I wish to thank the people and the government of Jamaica for the strong relationships enjoyed by the UN development system in Jamaica. I also express gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for being a friend and ally of the UN Jamaica family.
Conclusion/ Call to Action
On this United Nations Day, let us commit with hope and determination to build the better world of our aspirations. You, our young people have been the most consistent advocates for the SDGs and you continue to hold us accountable to our national and global commitments.
Please continue to do so. In this vehicle towards sustainable development, you are not mere passengers, but we believe in your capacity to take the wheels. Your voice and expertise are critical to help shape decisions and inspire the multi-stakeholder partnership needed to achieve Agenda 2030 in Jamaica and the world.
In this regard, may our north star remain “for people, for the planet, and for peace;” and may you – Jamaica’s youth – remain committed to driving us there.