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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 19:43 GMT
Queen speaks to Jamaican Parliament
The Queen and Jamaican Prime Minister Percival PJ Patterson
The Queen last visited the country in 1994
The Queen has told the Jamaican Parliament of the importance of a "global network" after the events of 11 September.

The Queen, on the second day of her Golden Jubilee visit to Jamaica, was addressing a special session of the parliament in the capital Kingston.

"The terrible events of September 11 last year reminded us with tragic forcefulness that we do not exist simply as individual countries or even as large international political alliances," she said.

People have reaped the benefits of increased national consciousness and self-determination

The Queen
"We are more than ever part of a global network and the impact of international events in our modern world on any one of us is to a greater or lesser extent felt by all of us."

The sixth Royal visit to the Caribbean island during the Queen's 50-year reign also marked Jamaica's 40th anniversary of independence, she said.

"Such anniversaries are important," the Queen told the parliament.

"They are, I hope, opportunities to celebrate and, in so doing, to bring people and communities together.

Pride and pleasure

"They are also moments to reflect on what has gone before and to rededicate ourselves with determination and confidence to all that lies ahead.

"Above all they are occasions to remind ourselves of the honour, the pride and the pleasure of giving service to this country and Jamaicans everywhere."

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, reflected on changes during her 50 years on the throne, and recognition of the need to sustain and develop the planet.

Kingston schoolboys welcome the Queen
Schoolboys helped welcome the Queen
"Fifty years ago, the world was indeed a very different place," she said.

"It is a cause for celebration that during the second half of the last century, in so many countries across the world, people have reaped the benefits of increased national consciousness and self-determination.

"As sovereign states you have not only taken responsibility for your own national progress but have become even more conscious of your collective responsibility for the sustainability and development of our planet."

The Queen is head of state and Queen of Jamaica as well as head of the Commonwealth, of which Jamaica is a member.

She said: "I am convinced that, as we face the challenges of today, in particular on the economic and social fronts, the Commonwealth remains one of the strongest pillars for the building of worldwide peace, growth and development."

'Missis Queen'

The Queen was also expected to visit a crime-ridden area of Kingston, immortalised by reggae superstar Bob Marley.

'Missis Queen' or 'The Queen Lady' as she is known in Jamaican patois will be shown an urban poverty project in Trench Town.

The area has long suffered from its association with armed gangs of drug-dealers, but was celebrated in the song Trenchtown Rock.

Security around the Queen, who has been shadowed by armed troops since she arrived in Jamaica, will be kept tight for the visit.

Republic support

As the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived in a chartered British Airways plane on Monday hundreds of people lined the streets to welcome her.

An opinion poll on the island showed 57% of people regard her visit as important, despite a long-standing consensus that Jamaica should ditch the monarchy and become a republic.

And there have been small protests by groups of Rastafarians demanding compensation for slavery and repatriation to Africa.

The visit began just 72 hours after the funeral of the Queen's sister Princess Margaret on Friday.

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The Queen came to address a special session of parliament"
See also:

02 Jan 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Jamaica
03 Jan 02 | UK
Elizabeth II's gilt trip
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