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Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, was given a tremendous reception Monday evening (June 28), after presenting her credentials to President Barrack Obama at the White House, earlier.
Former U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who is of Jamaican parentage, was among the large number of guests on hand to honour Ambassador Marks at the reception at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, Virginia, across the river from Washington D.C.

Former United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, greets Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks at a reception held in her honour at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia on Monday, June 28.

Jamaicans in the Diaspora, members of Congress, representatives of federal and state governments and Washington D.C. and CARICOM countries’ ambassadors, were on hand to compliment the new Ambassador, who was accompanied by her husband, Jassel Dunstan, and their daughters, Morgan and Madison.
Ambassador Marks, in her address, outlined the long list of positive developments currently taking place in Jamaica.
She listed an anti-gang legislation currently before Parliament; plans for far-reaching public/private sector partnerships for economic and social intervention in depressed communities; a stronger Jamaican dollar; massive investment in infrastructure and businesses, including the Falmouth Cruise Ship Terminal Development and Harmony Cove Casino and Hotel Development; and the major redevelopment of downtown Kingston, including the construction of the new regional headquarters of mobile cellular network, Digicel.

University of the West Indies (UWI) Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne, congratulates Ambassador Audrey Marks on her appointment as Jamaica’s first female Ambassador to the United States, at a reception held in her honour at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia on Monday, June 28.

Ambassador Marks promoted investment opportunities in Jamaica, through Foreign Direct Investments or joint venture partnerships with Jamaican entrepreneurs, stating that the Jamaican Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Consulates in New York and Miami were happy to become engaged in converting these opportunities for mutual benefit.
Arguing that Jamaica stands at a historic turning point, she said the Government, led by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, hand in hand with the private sector and civil society, is fully engaged in building social capital and restoring confidence in the future of Jamaica.
In reference to efforts to dismantle transnational criminal networks in Jamaica, following the recent unrest in parts of Kingston, she said this could only redound to the benefit of Jamaica, the region and the entire hemisphere.
She asserted that while the country mourned the loss of life and the circumstances that led to the unrest, it is better off.
The Ambassador stressed the control of crime as vital to national development.

Jamaican cabaret singer, Karen Smith, entertaining guests at a reception held in honour of Jamaica’s new Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia on Monday, June 28.

“We do recognize that, ultimately, our island will sink or float from our ability and willingness to control crime,” she said.
“We are doing our part and, in this regard, we welcome the recent moves by the USA to recognize the transnational nature of organised crime, and to begin putting in place measures to help combat the monster on a regional level,” she added.
Leading Jamaican cabaret singer, Karen Smith, wowed guests at the reception, as she took them on a musical trip down memory lane.