Govt implementing measures to strengthen Diaspora relations — Foreign Affairs MinistryWednesday, June 16, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Leslie Campbell says the Government continues to implement new mechanisms designed to further strengthen its relationship with the Diaspora.
This, he said, is part of efforts to deepen engagement with the Diaspora in a holistic manner. He noted that some of these new mechanisms include the provision of incentives for returning residents; hosting Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conferences; recognising Diasporans through the Governor-General's Achievement Awards; and the establishment of structures to streamline Diaspora Philanthropy.
“These initiatives will continue in earnest as they have proved to be very effective over time. These efforts will be given a fillip by the passage and implementation of the National Diaspora Policy, which will support the further harnessing of the full potential of the skills and expertise of Jamaicans overseas in the purist of Jamaica's sustainable development,” Campbell said.
The minister's statement was in tribute of Diaspora Day which is observed on June 16. He was speaking for the first time in his capacity as minister with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs.
Paying tribute to the estimated three million strong Jamaican Diaspora members dispersed across the globe, Campbell said, “I extend best wishes to you and your families and sincerely hope that you will have an opportunity soon, to visit Jamaica to experience the joys and many offerings of our beautiful and beloved island home.”
Among the new mechanisms for engagement is last year's establishment of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC) and the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council (GJDYC) which were deliverables of the 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference held in June 2019.
“We value the voices and role of our young people in shaping the sustainable development of Jamaica. We are extremely proud of the activities of the youth council which has undertaken countless activities in the past 18 months in the midst of the global pandemic. We applaud their efforts to use three their platform constructively and welcome their enthusiasm and passion to voice concerns and present proposals for the growth, development and sustainability of Jamaica,” Campbell said.
“During the height of the pandemic, members of the Diaspora responded to the call to action to assist those in the community who were severely impacted and desperately in need of food, medication, accommodation and emotional support. The generous response of the Diaspora was a welcome source of relief,” he continued.
The minister also noted the overwhelmingly positive response to the “One Device for Every Child” campaign initiated by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, which has been a lifeline to students as they adjusted to online platforms for learning.
“We also commend you for continuing to support your families back home, to the extent that remittances actually increased during the pandemic, defying forecasts by international financial institutions of a global decline. This speaks volumes to the depth of your commitment to your families and to Jamaica,” Campbell added.
He invited the Diaspora to remain engaged as the future is “bright and full of promise”.
“On this Diaspora Day, we salute you, the members of our Diaspora, who continue to be good ambassadors for Jamaica and partners in pursuit of sustainable development for Jamaica, Land We Love! Happy Diaspora Day!” the minister said.
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