Opposition wants greater transparency in Foreign Policy Decisions - Bartlett

Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, Edmund Bartlett, is today expressing concerns about the Government’s lack of reporting to the nation on a number of crucial decisions which it has taken in international fora over the past two years.

He says, “Most recently, at the 69th session of the United Nation's General Assembly (September 22–30), Jamaica co-sponsored a Resolution to condemn the "violent extremism" of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)”. The resolution called for, among other things, nations to adopt new laws and regulations to prosecute and penalize those affiliated with terror groups, and to enable nations to share intelligence through Interpol. Mr. Bartlett stated, “It is unacceptable that two weeks after this action was taken in New York, neither the Prime Minister of Jamaica, who led the country’s delegation, nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, who delivered Jamaica’s policy statement to the UN on September 29, have reported to the nation on the actions taken on behalf of the people of Jamaica during these activities”.

Noting that the resolution was unanimously approved by the UN’s Security Council on September 24, Mr, Bartlet says, “The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) fully supports the results on the resolution, as it is in step with the wishes of the Jamaican people to support international efforts to reduce global tensions, and to restrict efforts that exacerbate political, religious and racial conflicts across the globe”.  

He however pointed out that "while the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has fully informed her nation of the decisions and actions taken by her and her team at the same UN events in New York, no official information on these activities has been provided for Jamaicans through the Office of the Prime Minister or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.  This is a clear dereliction of the government's duty to keep the nation informed on matters affecting the country's well-being”.  

In closing, Mr. Bartlett stated, “The Government must recognize that matters such as these require full and impartial disclosure and reporting.  Anything less amounts to a significant breach of the rights of Jamaicans to be fully informed of such steps,"