JIS News

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  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said the Ministry is working to complete two key policies in time for next June’s 6th biennial Diaspora conference.
  • The policies are the International Migration and Development Policy; and the Diaspora Policy.
  • Mr. Brown said the Ministry has been working since 2012 on the International Migration and Development Policy.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said the Ministry is working to complete two key policies in time for next June’s 6th biennial Diaspora conference.

The policies are the International Migration and Development Policy; and the Diaspora Policy.

“So, at the conference next year, we should be in a position to announce that these policies are in place and begin to work from there,” he told JIS News.

Mr. Brown said the Ministry has been working since 2012 on the International Migration and Development Policy, which he said, has been examined by members of the International Relations and Trade Council (IRTC).

“Some suggestions have been made and those suggestions have been incorporated. It is now to go back to the IRTC then on to Cabinet. “I am hopeful that…the policy will come to Parliament this year,” he stated.

He said the idea is to “mainstream it in all our policy formation and in all ministries, departments and agencies.”

“We realise that there are development forces within migration itself if it is managed properly, and we have to also attend to the negative fallout that may occur as a result of migration in terms of children, who may be left behind unsupervised. We have to deal with those issues and they are also addressed in the policy,” he stated.

Additionally, Mr. Brown said work is progressing smoothly on the Diaspora Policy, which is in its seventh draft.

“We’re hopeful that that, too, will be on stream, certainly before we get to conference. We have sent it out for wide consultations. Those consultations still continue, because we want to ensure that we cover as many practical aspects as possible to make these policies pragmatic,” he told JIS News.

The 6th biennial Diaspora conference will be held from June 13 to 18 in Montego Bay, St. James.

Mr. Brown informed that a preliminary draft agenda has been developed for the event, which will be attended by members of the Diaspora, returned residents and the local community.

“We have had several meetings. We have started much earlier in terms of planning this time around than the last conference. I would say that at this stage of the game, we have a preliminary draft programme that has been sent out,” the State Minister noted.

Migration and deportation issues will be among the topics for discussion at the conference. Mr. Brown said the discussions, which will be led by a panel of experts, will focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with migration.

“We hope to have an immigration and deportation symposium, which will be international in nature, looking at the various issues that surround these two forces and to see how we can address them practically, both from a home and host perspective,” he stated.