WASHINGTON — Just over 50 delegates from the United States (US) northeast region are confirmed for the two-day Jamaica Diaspora conference, which gets underway on Wednesday June 15 in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the region, Patrick Beckford, said the number is less than in previous years, noting that the effects of the recession had impacted the amount of delegates, who can afford to attend.
He noted, however, that the lower numbers will not affect the anticipated productive two days of discussions. “One of the most important things the Diaspora hopes to leave with is a clearer understanding of how the Diaspora and the Government of Jamaica can work in partnership to enhance Jamaica’s development,” he said.
“Importantly, for me, I am proposing that, as an extension of Jamaica, the Diaspora must focus on a specific area. As a result, the northeast region will be proposing to concentrate on Jamaica’s human development with the Vision 2030 goals in the key sector areas, as its guide,” he said.
He pointed out that among the delegates expected to attend will be representatives from various alumni associations, Team Jamaica Bickle, Caribbean Medical Mission, and various nursing associations.
Mr. Beckford said these organisations have a track record of contributing money, time, knowledge and service to their country. These groups, he said, give back to their country because of their passion and patriotism. “They want to do their part in nation building,” he added.
Mr. Beckford said he was looking forward to a successful two days of conference meetings with lively discussions.
Among the topics to be discussed are: government and the operational structure of the Diaspora; engaging future leaders; national economic and social initiatives; and the contributions of the Diaspora.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, will attend the conference and participate.
By DERRICK SCOTT, JIS Reporter