PJ Patterson believes that Jamaica's revival and growth lie in a document that was crafted while he served as prime minister up to six years ago.
Vision 2030, according to the former head of Government who was a guest at yesterday's special sitting of the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, is a national development plan which seeks to secure a prosperous future for all Jamaicans.
"The mission now must be to get on with this document," Patterson said in response to the interest that it has attracted by succeeding Administrations led by Bruce Golding of the Jamaica Labour Party and Portia Simpson Miller, the current prime minister and president of the People's National Party.
"If we could all unite around it, we are going to see Jamaica take off for the next 50 years," he reasoned.
In giving a background to Vision 2030, which outlines a raft of plans for Jamaica's development up to the year 2030, Patterson said that it was generally accepted that had the nation been able to achieve and maintain national unity throughout the past 50 years, and had we reflected a fixity of purpose throughout that period, more would have been achieved than what has been realised.
"My view is that to reflect national unity we have to have an agenda that has been accepted by the Government of the day, the Opposition of the day, the private sector, industry, the churches, and the rest of civil society," he said.
"I think we have such a text, and that text is Vision 2030, which is a document planning for a secure and prosperous future.
"I think that that text is uniquely suited to command that consensus because of its history. It was started during my incumbency, as we worked to develop a national plan, and I said then it was to set out a vision to create a country which could be recognised in the Americas as prosperous, as democratic, as one which afforded every citizen the opportunity to develop his or her full potential," Patterson said.
Work on the document, Patterson added, continued with the change of Government and was completed under Golding's watch as prime minister.
Commenting on the document at the time, Golding described it as "A vision of a new society that is inclusive of the dreams and aspirations of all Jamaicans — a society that is secure, humane and just."
Simpson Miller, who was opposition leader while Golding ran the country, was also quoted as saying good things about the document.
"Our collective ownership of this process will redound to the nation's benefit. The achievement of this plan and its successful implementation will be seen by future generations of Jamaicans as a collective path of our collective patrimony," Simpson Miller said then.
Patterson maintains that it was now time to get on with what the vision outlines.
"We have a situation where it was started in my Administration. It was completed and promulgated during the previous Administration, and the implementation of it now falls to the Government led by Mrs Simpson Miller.
"Since that document is the product of continuous work and full agreement, the mission now must be, get on with this document," Patterson said.