Jamaica has signed a €46 million agreement with the European Union (EU) for the National Indicative Programme (NIP), to bolster its development efforts in the areas of environment, climate change and the rule of law.
The agreement was signed during the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), held in Apia, Samoa from September 1 to 4, by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson and the EU’s Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs.
Making the announcement in the Senate on Friday, September 12, Senator Nicholson said the agreement serves as a tangible contribution of the EU to the sustainable development of Jamaica and “yet another example of the value of international partnerships.”
The NIP agreement was signed with 21 African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) countries, under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014 to 2020, for a total amount of €339 million.
Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, explained that part of the funds will go toward the reform of the justice system. He said this will involve the increased use of modern technology in the court room.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nicholson also informed that during his trip to Samoa, he participated in bilateral meetings with representatives from Canada, Germany, Israel, Singapore, Sweden, and Switzerland and paid a short official visit, along with representatives from five other CARICOM countries, to New Zealand.
In addition, Senator Nicholson moderated a session organised by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on the ‘Vulnerabilities of Caribbean SIDS’.
The session took the form of a panel discussion with the Foreign Ministers of Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, along with representatives of ECLAC.
Minister Nicholson noted that the way forward for Jamaica, following what he deemed “a successful conference,” involves actions at the national and regional levels to take on board the numerous recommendations in the outcome document.
He said these recommendations will be transmitted to the various ministries, departments and agencies of government for action and for the further mainstreaming into national development plans and strategies.
“Let me stress also that there is a pivotal role for the private sector, including through public-private partnerships. We will, therefore, share the outcome document with our friends in the private sector,” the Minister added.
Senator Nicholson, who led Jamaica’s delegation to the high level UN conference, was accompanied by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill and officials from both ministries.
The Third International Conference on SIDS was the largest global event ever held in the Pacific Islands. It was attended by more than 3,000 delegates from 180 countries and various international and regional organisations.