Activities of Secretary-General in Jamaica, 14-15 May

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Jamaica from New York on Sunday, 14 May 2023.

On Sunday, he visited Seville Great House and Heritage Park, in Saint Ann.  This former plantation is now a heritage site reflecting centuries of history in Jamaica.

Upon leaving, the Secretary-General said he was deeply impressed by the courage and determination of slaves who fought for freedom.  This, he added, is a reminder of the urgency to fight against inequalities everywhere.

On Sunday evening, the Secretary-General attended a dinner organized in Kingston by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

On 15 May, the Secretary-General met the United Nation team working in the country.  He then toured a part of downtown Kingston transformed into a gallery of street art and murals by Jamaican artists.

Immediately after this visit, the Secretary-General had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, followed by a joint press conference.

In his remarks to journalists, the Secretary-General said that when we look at today’s international financial architecture, we are facing moral, power and practical problems.

These problems, he added, are impacting countries like Jamaica and this is why it was important for him to hear the perspective of the Prime Minister to translate the dramatic needs and interests of developing countries, and of countries like Jamaica, in initiatives the United Nations is developing and beyond.

Turning to Haiti, the Secretary-General reiterated the need — expressed in his proposal to the Security Council last year — for a non-United Nations international police force to crack down on the gangs.  This, he added, needs to take place in parallel with a political process.

He acknowledged that this has been a difficult exercise, but he once again asked the international community to understand that an effective solidarity with Haiti is not only a matter of generosity, it is essentially a matter of enlightened self-interest, because the present situation in Haiti reflects a threat to the security of the whole region and further afield.

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General visited the Bob Marley Museum, as well as the historic site of Port Royal.

He arrived back in New York on Monday evening, 15 May.

For information media. Not an official record.