Stronger Ties with Scotland Could Benefit Jamaica – High Commissioner


High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Burchell Whiteman, has said that stronger ties with Scotland could be of tremendous benefit to Jamaica and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
He said that in addition to cultural exchanges, Jamaica could benefit from Scotland’s experiences in projects to support young people and the re-generation of inner city communities and urban spaces. Mr. Whiteman also said that Scottish Members of the European Parliament (MEP) are interested in being intermediaries for the Caribbean in the European Union (EU).
The High Commissioner, who paid an official visit to Scotland late last week, met with Jamaicans living there during a special function to honour Jamaican born Professor, Geoff Palmer. He also met with senior Scottish officials, including the Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Justice, Kenny MacAskill; Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, George Grubb; the Deputy Lord Provost of Glasgow, Allan Stewart; Provost of Midlothian, Adam Montgomery, and the Chief Constable of Lothian & Borders Police, David Strang.
During the meeting with Mr. MacAskill, the need for follow-up talks with regard to the creation of an interface structure with the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the proposal for a joint Consulate for the CARICOM countries in Edinburgh, was discussed. This issue was first raised during the 2008 visit to Scotland by CARICOM High Commissioners based in London .
Both High Commissioner Whiteman and Mr. MacAskill agreed on the importance of programmes to assist victims of the drug trade to be rehabilitated, and the re-integration of offenders who have to be returned to Jamaica.
Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 was the main topic of discussion with Mr. Stewart, who has invited a Jamaican delegation to visit the city and to examine the development of joint projects between now and 2014.
In discussion with Mr. Grubb, Mr. Whiteman was told that with the city of Edinburgh developing its international profile, there was scope for bilateral co-operation between the city and Jamaica.
The discussions with Mr. Strang and his senior officers looked at possible co-operation between the Police Department and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), with particular emphasis on young offenders and the possibility of bilateral exchanges.

JIS Social