November 6, 2023 -President of the People’s National Party, Jamaica’s opposition party, Mark Golding, and spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Lisa Hanna have called for the resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith following Jamaica’s absence from a United Nation’s vote which called for a “humanitarian truce” in the Gaza Strip.
In a recent radio interview, Hanna questioned why the government “continues to hide behind a cloak of mystery” in relation to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, where some 10,000 Palestinians have been killed.
“This particular resolution was just asking for something very simple – protect the human rights and legality; give the humanitarian ceasefire to help the people during this very difficult time. And we did not vote for it. We were missing,” she said.
“I don’t know how you can have that on your hands. And quite frankly, I think the minister needs to perhaps do the honorable thing. If you can miss such a serious vote, perhaps you no longer need to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. I am calling on her to resign over this,” Hanna declared.
Her sentiments were echoed by the party leader Golding on Sunday, who called Jamaica’s no-show at the UNGA vote “a disgrace.”
“Over 3,000 children have died in Palestine because of the bombing and the blockade and the withholding of basic necessities of life from the people, and the Jamaican government refused to vote on that in accordance with what CARICOM decided to do [as well as] the vast majority of countries in the world.
“I say it is a disgrace, and Comrade Lisa Hanna has called for the resignation of the minister of foreign affairs for what has happened in this instance, and I say, ‘time come’ for that too,” Golding said during a PNP meeting.
On October 27, a total of 120 countries voted in favor of the non-binding United Nations resolution which called for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza.
Some 12 CARICOM states, including Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua, Bahamas, and St. Lucia voted in favor. Haiti abstained, while Jamaica did not cast a vote.
Following backlash from Jamaicans locally and overseas, as well as other global citizens, Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith clarified that a technical cross in communication led to Jamaica’s representative not voting.
She said Jamaica wants a ‘peaceful resolution’ to the war, despite not casting a vote.
Countries and humanitarian groups around the world have marched in protest of the Israeli attacks and called for an immediate ceasefire.