A decision has been taken to postpone to 2022, the 9th Biennial Jamaica (virtual) Diaspora Conference, which was slated for June 16-18, 2021. The Ministry’s sensitivity to the realities of the impact of the pandemic on all stakeholders warrants this consideration.
We are pleased to note that the 2022 staging of the Conference will coincide with what is expected to be a memorable Jamaica Diamond Jubilee, 60thAnniversary of Independence – projected to be the country’s first post – COVID Independence celebrations.
For this year’s alternate Diaspora engagement, , the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in partnership with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Office of the Prime Minister, Legacy Partners, the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC), the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council (GJDYC) and other local and overseas stakeholders, will stage the Virtual Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium, June 16-17, under the theme “Jamaica and the Diaspora – Stronger Together for a Sustainable Future”.
“Given the protracted nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with its concomitant health and fiscal challenges, it cannot be business as usual. As such, the Symposium is being considered as an effective pivot to maintain the connection with the Diaspora, with a view to strengthening existing partnerships”, explained Senator the Honourable Leslie Campbell, Minister of State in the Foreign Ministry, one of whose main portfolio responsibilities is that of Diaspora Affairs.
The Symposium will feature panel discussions on Health and Wellness, Education, and Diaspora Partnerships for Sustainable Development, hosted by the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC). It will be followed by the highly prestigious Governor-General’s Awards for Excellence, focusing this year on “Heroes of the Pandemic.” The day’s activities will conclude with the Prime Ministerial Town Hall.
A Youth Forum, hosted by the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council (GJDYC), will be the sole activity on Day 2- the 17th June.
Minister Campbell also observed that “The Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium is another vehicle through which the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) can interact with and engage the Jamaican Diaspora on important national issues, as well as on matters of importance to the Diaspora wherever they reside – an essential tenet of the National Diaspora Policy.”
The first Jamaica Diaspora Conference was held in 2004 and has been the principal means by which the GoJ engages with its Diaspora, in both the traditional and non-conventional jurisdictions.