Jamaica’s black, green and gold flag was unfurled at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 21stSeptember 1962, marking the country’s entry as a member of that august body. As we commemorate the 75thAnniversary of the United Nations we pause to reflect on the historical relationship with this noble institution and its impact on the daily lives of our citizens.
Long before becoming an independent nation and a fully pledged member of the United Nations, Jamaica embodied its spirit and principles. This is exemplified during the fight for equality, human rights and international justice in apartheid South Africa when in 1957 Jamaica, not yet an independent country, was the first to declare a trade embargo against South Africa.
At the 1963 General Assembly Jamaica proposed that 1968 should be designated the International Year for Human Rights to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Among its many objectives, the Declaration was intended to reinvigorate the public commitment of Member States to its principles. This initiative spurred advancements towards the current global human rights architecture.
The United Nations continues to be a vanguard of great support as countries seek to tackle a multiplicity of complex challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. I take this opportunity to express appreciation to the United Nations for its comprehensive response to the pandemic, including the generous assistance provided to Jamaica. We continue to benefit immensely from our relations and cooperation within the UN and the wider multilateral framework.
I commend the UN on its 75th milestone and we look forward to forging an even stronger partnership in the quest for a better future.