21st Century Mission

In the same way that the realities of globalisation compel a response in relation to domestic policy, it also demands an international response.

For while globalisation, without doubt, heralds the arrival of new technologies and increased productive capabilities, it is also linked with the growing power of multi-national corporate conglomerates, and mounting global inequality. We are witnessing the emergence of a uni-polar world, with the associated risks of a single hegemonic power, exercising dominance particularly over small states.

All of this points to the need for small states like Jamaica to become more involved and active in internationalism, to ensure a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, and to ensure access for small states in the decision-making processes within the international community.

The P.N.P’s ability to help to fashion a new internationalist agenda for small states will be assisted by our history of commitment to the causes of justice and equality in international relations. We take pride in our historic commitments, our contribution to the anti-apartheid movement and in the anti-colonialist struggles of past decades.

We also recall with pride and reaffirm our historical commitments to non-alignment and regional integration among Caribbean States. Jamaica must remain active and play a leadership role within a deepened and expanded CARICOM, the Association of Caribbean States, within Global fora such as the WTO, the United Nations, and the Group of 15.

Challenges to Governance and the Old Political Order

The new paradigm challenges the political order to fundamentally transform its approach to governance. It also requires changes in the structure and functioning of political parties.

In the old order, the people were removed from the state and from their representatives. Political leaders were thought to hold all the answers to all questions and to dispense solutions as well as benefits on the people.
Consultation with the people was only periodic and largely formalistic.

Today citizens demand participation and consultation. They wish to have a voice in decision-making. Simultaneously, given the information revolution and its "real time and on line" culture, citizens have become less patient in having their problems solved, with higher expectations of the quality of these solutions.

This is so in a context in which the demands of globalisation have ‘weakened’ the state and its historically accepted paramountcy. Now governments have less control over what were previously seen as ‘sovereign decision’ and are more subject to the dictates of transnational

organisations, such as the WTO. At the same time, citizens are calling for greater autonomy and accountability by their governments.

Another factor influencing the possibilities of governance is the proliferation of independent civic and professional organisations. This has resulted in the proffering of diverse sectional interests all representing their views to government and demanding that these be decisively considered in any policy making.

Governance must therefore take into account multiple and frequently diverse views and incorporate them into coherent policy.

In the new context, to survive and be relevant, the Party must be:

  • on the cutting edge of new thinking, new ideas and relevant new action - this is essential if the Party is to lead and not to follow;
  • innovative in problem solving - be willing to devise new methods of working with the people in solving the problems rather than depending solely on the largesse of the state;
  • proactive in policy action and organisation;
  • more accountable and willing to open the Party to the scrutiny of the people;
  • inclusionary not exclusionary - be willing to collaborate with the wider society and its organisations and develop partnerships rather than engendering paternalism;
  • at the forefront of building community structures and promoting the community agenda.

As the Party President said:
"The old order - the closed, distant and authoritarian system of governance - is being forced to give way to a structure which is inclusive, responsible and accountable."
                                                                                                                                  P. J. Patterson
                                                                                                                                              May 1999

This is the challenge to governance of the new millennium, given the new paradigm.


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