Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica and her counterpart, Her Excellency Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, affirmed their intention during the countries’ 2nd Round of Bilateral Political Consultations, held virtually on 4th May 2021.
On Oceans Management, Ministers Johnson Smith and Søreide expressed satisfaction at Prime Minister Holness’ membership and participation in the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, having been invited by Prime Minister Solberg. Both Ministers noted that this continues to provide opportunities for Jamaica to draw attention to the fragile and urgent state of our Oceans, on which we are extremely dependent. Minister Johnson Smith also asserted Jamaica’s support for the aims of Norway’s new Blue Justice Initiative, which seeks to address transnational crimes including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Climate and the Environment
On Climate and the Environment, Minister Johnson Smith stated, “We welcome Norway’s support and financing for Jamaica’s National Adaption Plan and also the Nationally Determined Contribution Partnership (NDCP), which Jamaica co-chairs, along with the United Kingdom.” Minister Johnson Smith stressed that decisions of the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26) must result in greater access to climate finance for SIDS. Johnson Smith continued, “Jamaica looks forward to continued collaboration bilaterally and in the various multilateral fora towards a shared and sustainable future.”
The Ministers also shared perspectives on their country’s COVID-19 responses and vaccination programmes. Minister Johnson Smith highlighted the “unquestionable inequity in the ability of developing countries, like Jamaica, to procure vaccines on a commercial basis.” Johnson Smith shared that Jamaica is “keen to explore opportunities to address this issue, including through any reallocation of supplies with partner countries”. Minister Johnson Smith, however, lauded Norway’s role in combating inequity. She said, “Norway’s role as co-chair, together with South Africa, of the Accelerator Facilitation Council (ACT), signals your leadership in global health. We anticipate strong representation for equitable distribution of vaccines, tests and other tools essential to the pandemic response.”
Minister Johnson Smith expressed appreciation to Norway for its advocacy in multilateral fora on behalf of Small Island Development States (SIDS), which form the majority of the membership of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and for its support of Jamaica’s sustainable development agenda.