Barbados, Jamaica join 10 other Caricom members in support of Palestinian statehood

In a telling reflection of current geopolitical dynamics, the recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote regarding full UN membership for the State of Palestine underscored significant global divisions. Despite the United States wielding its veto power to block the draft resolution, Guyana stood among the 12 UNSC members in favor of recommending Palestine’s admission to the UN.

Jamaica’s Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith

The draft resolution, advocating for Palestine’s membership, marks a pivotal moment in UN-led diplomacy, particularly amidst Gaza’s dire circumstances. The region faces unparalleled devastation, heightening the urgency for international solidarity and support.

Against this backdrop, Barbados made a noteworthy announcement on April 19, 2024, officially recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state. This decision, occurring in the wake of the UNSC vote, likely serves as a pointed response to the US stance.

Following suit, Jamaica’s government also signaled its recognition of Palestine shortly thereafter. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, emphasized Jamaica’s commitment to a two-state solution as the most viable path towards resolving the longstanding conflict and ensuring the security of Israel while upholding Palestinian rights.

Minister Johnson Smith contextualized Jamaica’s recognition within the framework of UN principles, advocating for mutual respect among nations and the right to self-determination. She linked the decision to the ongoing Gaza crisis, reaffirming Jamaica’s call for an immediate ceasefire.

Barbados and Jamaica join ten other CARICOM member states in recognizing Palestine, including St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Haiti, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Guyana, demonstrating a unified stance within the region.