Strides to development - PNP Spokespersons' Council concludes three-day retreat

No. 64 Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The critical outcome of the PNP's Spokespersons' Council Retreat, held at Breezes, Trelawny is the strides made in the development of a set of core policies for the next government formed by the People's National Party. Participation, Account­ability and Responsibility (PAR) have been established as the priority focus of the People's National Party policy development process at the March 5 and 7 retreat.

    According to Party President, Portia Simpson Miller, the PAR process guarantees an open and transparent democracy where all citizens appreciate their role and stake in attaining common national targets and in which government members are held accountable to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. Its ultimate objective is to achieve a "Safe and Just Society" - a key outcome of the Party's Progressive Agenda.
    At the retreat, the Spokespersons considered many critical policy issues that are being developed under the Progressive
Agenda. The retreat also allowed the Spokespersons' Council, or Shadow Cabinet; to complete an objective review of critical sectors of the society and the economy, and examine an important issue, the role of the state in light of the IMF standby agreement. Other issues included a focus on the role of youth in sustainable development and accountability for elected representatives and Ministers of Government.
    The spokespersons agreed that a new policy mix is a critical prerequisite to attaining a productive society, which is able to achieve the targets set out in the Jamaica Vision 2030 Plan for National Development. Vision 2030 had been started and advanced by the PNP Administration led by the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller ON, MP.
    "This Retreat is a timely one, coming just prior to the start. of a new Parliamentary and Financial Year. which for the first time since 1979 Jamaica has negotiated a new Standby Agreement with the International Monetary Fund from which the Patterson Administration had ceased borrowing in the 1990s," said Mrs. Simpson Miller.
    The importance of Foreign Policy and Foreign Relations as a key pillar for attaining Sustainable National Development was also reviewed critically at the Retreat. This is an area that more people are finally recognizing as a cornerstone for national development, especially in the wake of the recently published report coming out of the United States of America, commonly being referred to as the Drug Report and implications for Jamaica arising from that Report.
    The Retreat is part of the standard operating procedure of the Spokespersons' Council chaired by Mrs. Simpson Miller. Each member of the Council gave presentations on the respective portfolios to which they were originally assigned in September 2008.

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