Sunday, 27 February 2011

PM BRUCE GOLDING: 'Migration can play a significant role in global development'

KEY ISSUES: PM Bruce Golding addresses the Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development on Wednesday at the Mona Visitors Lodge, UWI. State Minister (Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade), Senator Marlene Malahoo- Forte (left), former PM PJ Patterson (2nd right) and Labour minister Pearnel Charles also participated in the Commission.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has said that migration can play a significant role in global development, but globalization is hardly likely to advance if people are not able to move, if not freely, at least with less impediments. He was addressing commissioners of the Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development at the Mona Visitors' Lodge, UWI Mona on Wednesday.

Mr. Golding said migration is one of the most powerful currents shaping global society; however, he noted that “the danger is that in the absence of a global framework built through cooperation and partnership, the effects will be lopsided and will serve to aggravate already stark imbalances between developed and developing countries.” The Prime Minister also said he agrees with the idea advanced in the Report of the Commission that countries like Jamaica must see migration as a strategic policy option and not as a means of losing the country’s brightest and best or the unburdening of low-skilled workers.

“It should not be seen also as merely a source of remittance flows, important though that is. There is a vast job market beyond our shores. Rather than bemoaning the brain drain, we might better take advantage of those opportunities and train our people for as many of those jobs we can fill,” he said. Mr. Golding recommended that the Commission consider the effect on families and children in particular, of absentee parents, which is a common consequence of migration. “Some attention needs to be given to providing a more structured framework for mitigating the negative effects that this has had and continues to have,” the PM said.

The Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development is an arm of the Ramphal Centre, and the University of the West Indies. It was established in 2009 under the leadership of former Prime Minister of Jamaica, P J Patterson, to study and make recommendations on issues concerning migration and development in Commonwealth countries. The Commission also seeks to advise Commonwealth governments on how they might adopt mutually beneficial and practical policies to maximize the benefits of international migration.

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