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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will be celebrating Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence with a slew of activities throughout the year to mark the milestone.

Dubbed ‘MFAFT@60 – Reigniting a Nation: Global Excellence, Our Mission’, the celebration will also recognise the establishment of the Foreign Ministry in 1962.

“Our intention is to use existing and new opportunities throughout the year to showcase the work undertaken by the Ministry… and the impact it has had on national development,” said Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith.

She was speaking at the recent opening of the Ministry’s new headquarters in downtown Kingston, where the entity’s Jamaica 60 activities were also launched.

Activities to be included in the anniversary celebrations are the annual Diplomatic Week and the Jamaica 60 biennial diaspora conference.

Senator Johnson Smith said that the Ministry will support national events, which may include State and official visits to Jamaica and from Jamaica to other countries.

The Ministry will also join the national Independence activities in August as well as mark Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of membership to the United Nations.

“We will work directly with the diaspora in its plans to celebrate within the respective jurisdictions as well as the national activities, which will unfold in Jamaica,” Senator Johnson Smith added.

She said that the work of the Ministry is critical to independent Jamaica.

She noted that before Jamaica received formal Independence, measures were put in place for the creation of a Ministry concerned with foreign affairs and Commonwealth relations as one of the first prerequisites for self-government.

“Since then, this Ministry has been at the centre of advancing Jamaica’s interests and concerns at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels in the political, trade and environment and investment spheres,” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith said that the Ministry has also played a significant role in engaging with the diaspora and promoting and protecting the welfare of Jamaicans wherever they reside.

“Our bilateral relations remain strong and formidable. We have strengthened existing partnerships and engaged new ones, ensuring that targeted initiatives are aligned with our efforts, and have diversified the nature and extent of our collaborative programmes and projects in critical areas relevant to Jamaica’s development,” she added.

 

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