Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Leslie Campbell, says the Government remains resolute in building a mutually beneficial relationship with its diaspora, including the youth, through productive and sustainable engagements.
The State Minister, who has responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, was speaking at the closing ceremony for the virtual Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium, on June 17.
“The Government is committed to building new, robust, strategic, mutually beneficial relationships with its diaspora, including the youth, particularly second, third and fourth generations, through productive and sustainable engagements. The Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council is a representation of the Government’s commitment to this agenda and we are so proud of your tremendous work and achievements. Indeed, they have demonstrated that the future is in good hands,” Mr. Campbell said.
He pointed out that an important part of the country’s foreign policy and national development goal – Vision 2030 – is the enhancement to the diaspora engagement process.
“Consequently, as a Ministry we are of the view that despite the current global challenges, it was important to dialogue and exchange ideas that were of mutual priority and concern. You will agree that the Symposium, with all its components, provided that opportunity to interact and allowed us, despite the challenges, to maintain our connections with the diaspora while strengthening existing partnerships,” the State Minister said.
He noted that the discussions on education, health and wellness, and diaspora partnerships have laid the foundation for further dialogue, including at next year’s ninth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.
The State Minister said that the ninth biennial conference will be convened under the chairmanship of Group Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Limited, Senator Don Wehby.
The virtual ninth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which was slated for June 16 to 18, 2021, was postponed due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other constraints.
Following careful review, the Ministry took a decision to postpone the Conference to 2022, to coincide with Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee – the 60th Anniversary of Independence celebrations.
Meanwhile, Senator Campbell extended congratulations to recipients of the 2021 Governor-General’s Achievement Award (GGAA), in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the country and the diaspora.
The recipients are Amani Simpson and Bishop Llewellyn Graham from the United Kingdom (UK); Dave D’Oyen and Dr. Sylvanus Thompson from Canada, and Cassandra Campbell and Dr. Trudy Hall from the United States (US).
He thanked all the participants and presenters and panellists who contributed to the rich, vibrant discussions during the sessions.
Senator Campbell said the Ministry is grateful for the strong partnership and collaboration of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council and the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council in the staging of the Symposium.
He said since his appointment, he has been privileged to interact with some brilliant minds in the diaspora, noting that although they are geographically distant from home, they are connected by the heart.
“I look forward to the continued collaboration as we seek to fulfil the agreed work programmes of the Council and strive towards other mutually beneficial outcomes,” he said.