Symposium on Jamaicans in the Diaspora Oct. 28


In an effort to maintain continued dialogue with its overseas nationals, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is hosting a one-day symposium on October 28 in Kingston, to examine the relationship between the country and Jamaicans in the Diaspora.
This was announced by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight, at the annual fund-raising banquet of the Northern Caribbean University Alumni, South Florida chapter, held recently at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Miami.
The Minister said that Jamaican nationals overseas were increasingly demanding a more “inclusive” approach to the country’s welfare and policy development, and this was evidenced in efforts to establish closer association with the island, its governance and the development process.
Mr. Knight said that the symposium, the first of its kind to include overseas nationals, would address the potential for the development of a Jamaican lobby overseas, and the prospects for trade and investment.
Commenting on trade and investment, the Minister mentioned the efforts of the United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Sue Cobb, to promote trade between South Florida and Jamaica through joint management initiatives.
Mr. Knight pointed out that the symposium would serve as a precursor to a Diaspora Conference planned for next year, which would address a plurality of issues affecting the Diaspora.
The Minister pointed out that Jamaican nationals have continued to contribute to the island’s economy in the areas of education, health, social services and culture through charitable and civic associations, alumni groups, churches as well as individuals. He reiterated Government’s mandate, through the Ministry, to promote and protect the interest of the country and its nationals overseas, “ensuring that dialogue, activities and policies at the regional and international levels, and more importantly in relations with the Diaspora, were reflecting transparency, genuine consensus and respect for our partners”.
Mr. Clarke spoke of Jamaica’s interest in forging regional and international alliances in the interest of survival. He mentioned Government’s efforts “to incorporate into the framework of engagement with Jamaicans overseas, the idea that Jamaica’s borders extend to every extra-territorial location which hosts our people, thereby immediately doubling the national pool of human capital throughout the Diaspora”.
The symposium will be staged in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, and will include participants and experts from that institution, as well as overseas communities.

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