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Jamaica to chair UN First Committee

BY HAROLD G BAILEY Observer writer

Friday, June 20, 2014    

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NEW YORK, USA - Jamaica has been elected to chair the United Nations (UN) General Assembly's Committee on Disarmament and International Security. The country's elevation to chair the committee was ratified at a UN General Assembly meeting here on Wednesday.

Nominated by member states from the Latin America and Caribbean Group, Jamaica was elected to the position by acclamation with its permanent representative to the world body, Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, as chairman.

The meeting was held to elect the chairs and vice chairs of the six main committees in which the majority of the Assembly's work for its 69th session will take place. That session will begin here on September 16.

The committee, which is generally referred to as The First Committee, normally seeks solutions to global challenges and threats to international peace and security, and typically addresses a wide range of international issues such as nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and the illicit trade of small arms.

The strengthening of international security co-operation and prevention of an arms race in space are other issues dealt with by the committee. Commenting on Jamaica's election to chair the committee, Ambassador Rattray noted that "it is an opportunity for Jamaica to further influence the work of the General Assembly, and by extension the United Nations".

He stressed that "despite being a small country, we have given much and still have much to give," in obvious reference to a number of past, ongoing and upcoming projects in which Jamaica is involved.

Jamaica was also elected as vice-chair of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee at Wednesday's meeting. That committee, which is commonly referred to as The Third Committee, addresses human rights and social development issues.

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