United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, has expressed admiration for Jamaica’s rich culture, which, he noted, has captivated the world for many decades.
“The richness of your culture, of your music is something that has invaded the world. Jamaica-originated cultural products really are a huge export… . It is extremely important because Jamaica has a huge imprint on the cultural world, and it is something you can be extremely proud of,” he said.
Guterres was addressing resident Heads of UN agencies and staff at the International Seabed Authority in Kingston on Monday (May 15) before touring the Art Walk in the Kingston Creative District, downtown Kingston.
The tour was one of several activities during his two-day working visit to the island from May 14 to 15.
The Secretary-General walked along Mark Lane and Water Lane where he admired murals depicting several of Jamaica’s greatest musical icons, including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Millie Small.
The murals tell the story of Jamaica’s musical past.
The Kingston Creative project, which also covers sections of Tower Street, Duke Street and Church Street, is aimed at transforming sections of downtown into creative spaces that showcase Jamaican food, craft, artwork, music and dance, to attract locals and visitors and provide income-earning opportunities.
State Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, Alando Terrelonge, who accompanied the UN Secretary-General on the tour, said that the visit was a testament of the value placed in Jamaica’s creative industries by members of the international community.
“It is an esteemed honour to have the United Nations Secretary-General here visiting Jamaica. What is even more important is that a big part of his visit pays tribute to Jamaica’s cultural and global dominance. The Secretary-General, himself, has noted that Jamaica, through its culture has [made significant impact] on the world,” he said.