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Ambassador Lucille Mair is dead

Thursday, January 29, 2009    

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DISTINGUISHED Jamaican diplomat Ambassador Lucille Mathurin Mair died yesterday morning at her home in Kingston. She was in her 85th year and had been ailing for some time.

Paying tribute to Ambassador Mair, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kenneth Baugh praised Ambassador Mair for her distinguished career to the field of diplomacy and international relations.

He singled out particularly the immense contribution to the United Nations, where she held a number of posts including that of secretary general of the World Conference of the United Nations Declaration for Women held in 1980 in Copenhagen, and from 1981- 1982 when she was special advisor to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Women's Development at the level of assistant secretary general.

Dr Baugh also underscored the role she played as a member of the Secretary General's Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, among a number of other international conferences devoted to the advancement of women's rights globally.

"I have also been advised of her outstanding work at our Ministry of Foreign Affairs when she was a senator and minister of state, ambassador to Cuba, and also permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

"Her passing is a sad loss to the international community, Jamaica, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its fraternity, indeed to all organisations and persons who were the beneficiaries of her contribution."

Faith Webster, director of the Bureau of Women's Affair, said Dr Mair was successful at giving Jamaican women a voice through her gender-related work.

"I didn't know her personally, but I remember reading some of her work. She has done some serious seminal work for women here in Jamaica and in the Caribbean," Webster said of Dr Mair, who was the first advisor on women's affairs to the Jamaican Government.

"She is praised as a trailblazer in her work and her life is a testimony of the strength and achievements of a phenomenal woman. Her service and her commitment will long be remembered," Webster said.

Dr Mair is survived by her daughter Ambassador Gail Mathurin who is the permanent secretary in the foreign ministry and sons David and Adrian Mathurin.

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