JIS News

Story Highlights

  • His Excellency Albert Ramdin, has called on the Caribbean Diaspora in the United States to work in partnership for the development of the Americas.
  • The Caribbean Diaspora in the United States, estimated to be just over 22 million people, has grown more than 17-fold over the last few decades.
  • Ambassador Ramdin expressed the hope that, as the New Year approaches, the Caribbean Diaspora would reflect on its own potential to make a difference to give back.

Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), His Excellency Albert Ramdin, has called on the Caribbean Diaspora in the United States to work in partnership for the development of the Americas.

“The Caribbean Diaspora needs to come together as one voice, to pool its resources, so that it can contribute more to the various countries from which members of the Diaspora originate,” he said.

“I believe that no community is too small and no individual is too weak to make a difference or to give back to their respective country or island,” he added.

Ambassador Ramdin was addressing a special screening and discussion of the documentary, ‘Forward Home, the Power of the Caribbean Diaspora,’ held on Wednesday, December 11, at the OAS’ Hall of the Americas in Washington DC.

He said that the Caribbean Diaspora in the United States, estimated to be just over 22 million people, has grown more than 17-fold over the last few decades and the contribution of this community to the US economy is on the increase.

Noting the invaluable contribution of Caribbean national overseas to the region through remittances, human and capital resources, he said they represent the fourth strategic ingredient necessary for the development of the Caribbean economy.

Ambassador Ramdin expressed the hope that, as the New Year approaches, the Caribbean Diaspora would reflect on its own potential to make a difference to give back and to contribute to the progress of their homeland and the region.

Dr. Keith Nurse of the University of the West Indies (UWI), who developed the documentary, stated that the film highlights the social and economic power of the people of the Caribbean Diaspora in their respective homeland.

It looks at members of the Caribbean Diaspora in cities such as London, Toronto, and New York.

Dr. Nurse informed that another documentary will be done to highlight entrepreneurship within the Diaspora in the areas of information technology, the agro food industry, among others.

Ambassador Ramdin and Dr. Nurse were among members of a panel that discussed a number of issues relating to the Caribbean Diaspora. Other panellists were: Chairman of the Caucus of CARICOM Ambassadors and Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States, His Excellency Neil Parsan; and Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Caribbean Affairs for the state of Maryland, Ambassador Curtis Ward.

The screening was well attended by members of the Caribbean diplomatic corps as well as a wide cross-section of Caribbean nationals residing in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.