Gov't must explain breaking respected traditions at the OAS Permanent Council — HannaThursday, January 07, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Lisa Hanna, says Jamaica's most recent behaviour in the Special Meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) is a continuation of its rogue and untenable foreign policy pursuits.
In addition, Hanna said it is a complete reversal of Jamaica's respected and longstanding foreign policy commitments which is destroying the country's image in the region and the international community.
In a statement commenting on the OAS Permanent Council meeting held on December 16, 2020, Hanna said the Government's management of the circumstances between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela was disturbing. She said it warrants a public explanation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in light of Jamaica's role in facilitating the meeting as Chair of the Permanent Council.
“As Chair of the Permanent Council in the OAS, Jamaica could have handled the entire situation in a more responsible manner. Jamaica's vote with two other CARICOM member states to allow a representative of the 'interim president' Guaido the opportunity to launch an attack against the government of Trinidad and Tobago, a fellow CARICOM member state, was irresponsible and unprecedented.
“By its action, the Government of Jamaica has forfeited its role and responsibility to act as an honest and fair broker. Instead, the Jamaican Government seems intent on joining others in isolating sister nations in the region who seek alternative approaches to US President Donald Trump's foreign policy agenda in general and the Venezuela crisis,” Hanna said.
Hanna said Jamaica has always stood firm on principles in forging its international diplomatic relationships. Central to these principles, she said, has been a commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of all nations and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Hanna noted that as a consequence, Jamaica has been able to build wide ranging relationships and alliances which has made us a central player on the global stage, and a leader among independent and non-aligned states.
“Jamaica has always shown assertive, courageous and enlightened leadership in our foreign policy, and in our multilateral and bilateral relationships. As a result, we have developed an enviable reputation of courage and activism, and great respect in the international arena. Our consistent approach in taking decisions based on principle has served us well, earning Jamaica a favoured reputation in matters of foreign policy and in our diplomatic relationships. Our views have been highly sought by our allies and bilateral partners. We are friends of many and the enemy of none,” Hanna said.
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