United Nations Jamaica marked UN Day 2021 through initiatives that included a three-day Virtual Partnership Forum and a week-long campaign dedicated to honoring the frontline workers who have supported and continue to support the nation’s response to and recovery from COVID-19.
According to Dr. Garry Conille, the UN Resident Coordinator, UN Day recognizes the founding of the organization on October 24, 1945. The UN Country Team (UNCT) in Jamaica will honor the anniversary with the theme of “Partnerships for Peace, Planet and Prosperity.” The event is designed to raise awareness of UN programs, particularly those related to COVID-19. Jamaica currently receives support from 13 UN agencies. The Planning Institute of Jamaica congratulated the UN for its local and international work over the past 76 years, noting Jamaica’s partnership with the UN since 1962.
From October 20 through 22, 2021, the UN Virtual Partnership Forum event featured more than 50 speakers from the international development partner community, the government of Jamaica, academia, private sectors, and private foundations, and showcase more than 20 organizations and national programs.
The event will particularly thank the frontline workers who continue to serve the country as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Light Jamaica Blue initiative represents an answer to calls from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport to recognize these heroes and to raise awareness to UN programs that support the recovery. From October 17 through 24, 2021, public and private organizations across Jamaica will show their appreciation for the frontline COVID workers by illuminating their buildings with blue light. The lighting is meant to recognize essential personnel who continue their partnership with the people and government of Jamaica to reduce, avert, and recover from the impact of COVID-19. The blue color represents the UN’s visual identity and is a symbol of peace and unity.
The UN has invested almost US$5 million to support the COVID response and recovery in Jamaica in the form of PPE, vaccines, supply chain management, health care equipment, cash transfers, tablets for students, and agriculture buyback. Light Jamaica Blue is meant to include the wider population of the island in a spirit of gratitude for the frontline workers who are often the unsung heroes of the pandemic.
Photo: United Nations Jamaica