MISS ANDREA L M WILSON
PERMANENT MISSION OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON THE UNICEF COUNTRY PROGRAMME FOR JAMAICA
DURING THE 2011 ANNUAL SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
OF THE UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
65TH SESSION OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
20-23 June 2011
I have the honour to address the Executive Board on Item 6 (b) of the provisional agenda concerning The UNICEF Country Programme for Jamaica.
The Government of Jamaica welcomes the new UNICEF country programme for the period 2012-2016, which seeks to build on the gains made over the period 2007-2011, and deepen interventions in areas identified as requiring urgent attention.
The country programme document has been the subject of broad based consultations at the national level and is aligned with the national development priorities of Jamaica. Jamaica therefore wishes to commend UNICEF for undertaking such an approach and for its flexibility and willingness to respond to local realities given that country ownership is the cornerstone for a successful programme of cooperation.
The focus on child protection, adolescent health and empowerment and quality education represent a slight change from the areas of emphasis in the previous programme and are a reflection of the responsiveness of the organization to the needs of the country and its commitment to assisting us to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The Government of Jamaica remains committed to improving the situation of children and young people in the country and looks forward to further collaborating with UNICEF towards this endeavour.
Jamaica wishes to place on record its appreciation to UNICEF for the quantum of resources mobilized for the previous programme and for its commitment to mobilize an additional US$10,000 for the upcoming programme cycle. This is of particular importance to Jamaica given its recent classification as an upper middle income country, despite the serious inequities, the high levels of poverty and the high debt burden that still persist. A reduction in resources would have had a negative impact on the country’s ability to sustain and build upon the results which were achieved under the previous programme of cooperation.
In this vein, Jamaica wishes to reiterate the need for the international community to take into account factors such a country’s vulnerability to external shocks, susceptibility to natural disasters and high debt to GDP ratio in their decision-making processes as it relates to the allocation of resources for development programmes. Financial and technical support from agencies, such as UNICEF, is critical in facilitating the achievement of development goals.
In closing, Mr. Chairman,
Let me add that Jamaica commends the 2012-2016 country programme for adoption by the Executive Board. Jamaica has enjoyed an excellent partnership with UNICEF and looks forward to continued collaboration with this noble organisation.
I thank you.