JAM | May 22, 2023

UK Foreign Secretary inks framework for violence prevention partnership

/ Our Today

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Handshake between Jamaican Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. (Photo: Contributed)

United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Secretary, James Cleverly has signed a new framework agreement with the government of Jamaica on violence prevention partnership.

The agreement was signed at the end of the inaugural Jamaica-UK Strategic Dialogue, which was held last week, as part of the UK-Caribbean Forum in which Cleverly co-chaired with Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith.

This was the first in-person meeting of the UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum since 2016.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (fourth from right, seated row) in a photo-op with regional leaders at the 11th UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum held in Jamaica. (Photo: Facebook @UKinJamaica)

His visit to Jamaica last week marked an important milestone in the ongoing partnership between the UK and Jamaica and sets the stage for continued collaboration and cooperation in the years ahead. The discussions at both the UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum and Jamaica-UK Strategic Dialogue covered a range of topics, including security, climate change, trade and investment, as well as health and education, solidifying the long-standing relationship between the UK and Jamaica and forging new partnerships in key areas of mutual interest.

At the Jamaica-UK Strategic Dialogue, the UK Foreign Secretary announced new funding of up to £15million for a Violence Prevention Partnership, as well as up to £7million for climate finance, to help strengthen Jamaica’s security and boost climate resilience.

Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Secretary, James Cleverly signs the strategic dialogue joint communiqué and Violence Prevention Partnership Framework between the United Kingdom and Jamaica. (Photo: Contributed)

Six-year framework duration

Speaking at the dialogue, Cleverly expressed his delight in announcing the new funding to support Jamaica’s efforts in violence prevention. The UK Government, through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is committing up to £15 million over the next six years to support Jamaica in its efforts to reduce violence and its impact on society.

In her remarks, Senator Johnson Smith commented: “Jamaica and the United Kingdom have a longstanding relationship that has matured to support our national development agenda. Jamaica welcomes the enhancement and optimisation of our partnership with UK to yield more tangible results toward our national development goals. This additional support and focus on security will result in a more enabling development environment for all Jamaicans.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith witnesses British Council Country Director, Damion Campbell, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Maureen Dwyer and NET director Latoya Harris-Ghartey sign STEAM MoU. (Photo: Contributed)

The dialogue concluded with the signature of a joint communiqué and an Aide Memoire, which sets out the framework for the Violence Prevention Partnership. The Foreign Secretary was also able to witness the signing of an instrumental memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the British Council and the Ministry of Education in Jamaica.

Work cooperation on STEAM Education

This agreement formalises the work cooperation on STEAM Education between the UK and Jamaica that has been developing since 2020. Under this initiative, over the next five years more than 15,000 teachers in the public school system at the secondary level will access STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) education training that will be cascaded to young people in their classrooms.

This programme will build and develop the people-to-people links between young people and teachers in the UK and Jamaica, enhancing the UK’s reputation in Jamaica and the Caribbean as the expert in STEAM education.

Meeting with Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly meeting Prime Minister of Andrew Holness at Jamaica House on May 17, 2023. (Photo: Contributed)

During his visit, Foreign Secretary Cleverly held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Andrew Holness. Discussions centred around the enduring relationship, trade, security and the strengthening of people-to-people links between the two countries, who have a long history.

In addition to his meetings with government officials, Cleverly toured an ongoing Blue Carbon Mangrove Restoration project in South Clarendon, where the UK is funding the restoration of over 1000 hectares of degraded mangroves, which will help to foster wildlife growth and increase the livelihoods of people living in surrounding communities.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visits UK-funded mangroves project (implemented by IDB and UWI SODECO) in South Clarendon (Photo: Contributed)

Foreign Secretary Cleverly also participated in a cultural reception hosted in the Windrush Gardens at the British High Commission in Kingston by High Commissioner to Jamaica, Judith Slater, a key moment highlighting the strong Jamaican-British ties, where he met with local entrepreneurs and young people.


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