On behalf of the United Nations, I express my deepest sympathy to all who mourn our dear Alison McLean.
- Ambassador Douglas Saunders, Cabinet Secretary and other members in Jamaica’s civil service,
- Colleagues from foreign services and missions,
- Members of the diplomatic corps,
- UN Colleagues watching around the world,
- Officiating Ministers, Dr. The Rev. Alison Iton and Sis. Audrey Rodney-Robinson and other members of the clergy,
To Jason, Solomon, Kirk and all of Alison’s loved ones, I convey my personal condolences. You loved her before many of us knew her. You shared your mother and sister with us. As the head of the multi-country Caribbean Office of UN Women, she led the fight for gender equality in the region. This work demanded much, and much - she - gave. And so, today I want to thank you for your generosity, commend your resilience and stand in solidarity with you as you brave this trying time of deep loss.
Alison was a trusted diplomat and humanitarian. She dedicated her time to bring us closer to a more equitable world, a world free of gender-based violence and free of discrimination against those most vulnerable. In the past few months, even while battling her own challenges, Alison provided leadership in securing significant funding to implement programmes, legislation and initiatives to help end the scourge of family violence in Jamaica and across the region.
The Spotlight Initiative, as the programme is called, will impact over 2 million beneficiaries over its 3-year life. This type of life-changing work is emblematic of the legacy that Alison leaves at the United Nation. She has already improved the lives of millions of people and you should be proud of her impact. Alison deserves a round of applause [pause].
Today, I give you the assurance that we will continue Alison’s legacy of defending women and girls and protecting our most vulnerable citizens. Her work will not be in vain.
I have seldom seen Alison without a smile on her face, even when professional negotiations were tough. She was a conscientious, frank and firm professional and a dear friend and colleague.
She faced her health challenge with courage, grace and dignity. She embraced life and adventure. She inspired thousands and left a legacy that will enrich Jamaica and the world for years to come. Alison did not lose her battle. She won her fight, triumphantly, by living her days fully, with bright eyes and a generous and beautiful heart.
The United Nations is fortunate to have had an international civil servant like Alison. While there is sadness, we are profoundly grateful that our world and our lives were touched by her grace and humility. She will be deeply missed.
Alison, may your soul rest in eternal peace.
*[As prepared for delivery. Changes may exist in original presentation]