#Kingston, March 27, 2023 – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced the names of the members of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC), which will play a key role in ensuring Jamaica’s smooth transition to a Republic.
Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte and Ambassador Rocky Meade, are co-chairs of the body, which includes Attorney General, Dr. Derrick McKoy; Senate President, Tom Tavares Finson; Government Senator, Ransford Braham; Opposition Senator, Donna Scott Mottley; Member of Parliament, St. Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton; international constitutional law expert, Professor Richard Albert; national constitutional expert, Dr. Lloyd Barnett; consultant counsel and nominee of the leader of the Opposition, Hugh Small; representative of the wider faith-based society, Dr. David Henry; civil society representative, Dr. Nadeen Spence; Chair of the National Committee on Reparations, Lalieta Davis Mattis; and youth advisor, Sujae Boswell.
Christopher Harper will serve as the Committee’s liaison officer.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday (March 22) at Jamaica House in St Andrew, Prime Minister Holness said the knowledge and guidance of the CRC will be crucial in the transition process.
“Their job is significant and I thank all of them for giving of their time and effort, knowledge and guidance to the process. I am confident that we will be able to meet the ambitious timelines that have been set and that we will be one step further in redefining who we are as a country and as a sovereign people,” he said.
He explained that the job of the Committee involves reviewing the work that has already been done, to pull from that body of work what is relevant to today’s circumstance and to give advice and guidance to the overall process.
“There may be the view that it is a straightforward and simple task of just changing the name of the country from that of a constitutional monarchy to a republic; that is not the case. There are many legal steps that we have to go through and there is the matter of a referendum, the outcome of which no one can predict,” he said, noting that the Government is committed to the process.
“This is not a partisan endeavor and I want to give the public the assurance that whatever we do, we will be acting in the best interest of the people of Jamaica,” he said.
Minister Malahoo Forte, in her remarks, informed that the committee will be meeting next Wednesday (March 29).
“The work has commenced in earnest. We settled the terms of reference for the committee this morning with an extremely ambitious timeline. I am grateful that all committee members have committed to working to achieving the goals along the way,” she said.
She explained that the terms of reference agree that the work will be undertaken in phases, “and we are focusing on phase one, which will abolish the constitutional monarchy and establish the Republic of Jamaica and related matters… . We looked at a timeline to get the Bill to Parliament in the shortest possible time”.
She pledged that the nation will be kept abreast of the process not only through media engagement but with statements in the Parliament.
The Committee’s purpose is to provide expert guidance and oversight to the Government and people of Jamaica during the constitutional reform process and implement recommendations on the consensuses reached.
The Committee is also expected to build consensus in areas where it has been eroded or is non-existent on important matters related to the process.
The body will be required to assess how the passage of time has impacted the recommendations of the 1995 Joint Select Committee on the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Report.
Members will, additionally, advise on what fresh perspectives should be considered in light of previous and current national, regional, or international developments and propose any necessary modifications to update the recommendations for implementation.
The Committee will further evaluate the recommendations on the establishment of the Office of a President, advise on the nature, qualification, tenure of the incumbent, and the legislative, executive, or ceremonial powers to be exercised by that individual.
The Government intends to hold a referendum relating to Jamaica’s proposed transition to a Republic.
The work will be done in three phases.
Contact: Chris Patterson
Header: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (foreground) with members of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) at Jamaica House in St. Andrew on March 22. Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte (second left) and Ambassador Rocky Meade (third right), are co-chairs of the committee.
Insert: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (at the podium) addressing a press conference to announce the members of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) at Jamaica House in St. Andrew on March 22. He is flanked by committee co-chairs Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte (left) and Ambassador Rocky Meade.
Photographer: Yhomo Hutchinson
CTO Gears Up for SOTIC 2023 in Turks and Caicos Islands
#TurksandCaicos, August 18, 2023 – Preparations for the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s much-anticipated State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) are well underway, with the program set to take place at The Shore Club Turks & Caicos on Providenciales from October 9-13, 2023.
CTO’s business meetings and destination media briefings will precede the official conference program, which features panel discussions spanning diverse themes – from tourism investment and financing to aviation competitiveness and the burgeoning film industry. CTO’s popular Caribbean Youth Congress also makes its return this year.
Neil Walters, CTO’s Acting Secretary General, anticipates a plethora of meaningful discussions and industry networking to unfold in Turks and Caicos. “SOTIC has traditionally been the CTO’s flagship event held in the Caribbean, and with its return this year under the leadership of our newly appointed Secretary General Dona Regis-Prosper, we are confident the forum will set the stage for sharpening our industry’s collective vision to become even stronger and more effective in positioning the Caribbean as the world’s leading destination for leisure as well as business travel.”
Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands, shared her pride in hosting the return of SOTIC after a hiatus of five years, stating, “The selection of Turks and Caicos reflects our dedication to hospitality and excellence. As the first major event being held under our new destination marketing and management organization, SOTIC is a significant opportunity for us to collectively shape the narrative of our region’s growth in a post-COVID environment.”
“As Minister of Tourism and Vice Chair of the group of British Overseas countries and territories within the Caribbean Tourism Organization, your presence at SOTIC 2023 holds immense importance,” said Minister Connolly, as she extended a heartfelt invitation to delegates.
Minister Connolly looks forward to showcasing the captivating beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Territory’s dedication to sustainable tourism development. She underscored the potent impact of coordinated action and regional collaboration that conveys a strong message of unity to stakeholders within and beyond the region’s borders.
Environmental Health Department Recognizes Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2023
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands May 12, 2023 – Mosquito Awareness Week is fast approaching, and its an important initiative which was established with the approval of CARICOM in 2014 to raise awareness about the link between mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit and to strengthen initiatives aimed at eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be observed this year from May 8th – 14th, 2023 under the theme “Small bite, big threat” and slogan “Beat the buzz: Prevent, Protect, Control”.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is present in the Turks and Caicos Islands, can spread diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.
During the Month of May, the Environmental Health Department will be discussing ways to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases. This can include using insect repellent, eliminating breeding grounds, and properly disposing of waste.
Vector Control Awareness Month in the TCI is an extension of Mosquito Awareness Week, recognizing the threat posed by mosquitoes and is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases. Let’s work together to keep our communities healthy and safe.
For additional information, please contact the Environmental Health Department on 1649-338-2143/44.
Social Services hosts Special Event for TCI Younger Ladies
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, May 2, 2023 – Another edition of the government’s mentorship program “The Lady in Me” was held this week. This time young ladies in Providenciales were the ones being treated. The program targets at-risk adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.
Photos of the beautiful setup shared with our news team show branded gifts waiting for the girls as they spent the two-day event sponsored by UNICEF focusing on how to cultivate healthy physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
Students from various schools arrived in uniforms immaculately pressed for the event put on by the Department of Social Services.
Acting Governor Anya Williams was in attendance and expressed faith that the initiative would cause true change.
“It was a pleasure to share with them my insight into the importance of making the right decisions in their youth, which will help to shape their futures and why they should see and value themselves as their greatest asset and to hear from them their goals, aspirations and the challenges that are currently being experienced by our younger generations,” she said.
In introducing the program the Government had said it was aiming to help participants: “examine the adolescence values, competencies, belief systems, inner feelings, motivations, critical thinking, and communication skills,” in order to “build their self-awareness and interpersonal relationships to strengthen their self-esteem— to create a sense of pride and enhance self-respect, self-worth, and self-esteem as they mature and improve personally and professionally.”
The Department said the event was expected to impact 100 girls.
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