High Commissioner Launches Diaspora UK


High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Gail Mathurin officially launched the Jamaican Diaspora UK on June 16, and proposed a national conference of all Jamaican organizations and groups.
“The agenda, the activities of Jamaican Diaspora UK are set by the members themselves. I hope that during my tour of duty in the United Kingdom, I will have the honour and indeed the pleasure to participate in a national conference or convention, which brings together, all the Jamaican associations, organizations and interested persons, in this country. This has been happening for some years in the United States of America. There is no reason why it can’t be done here,” she told the audience.
The High Commissioner noted that the success of Asafa Powell in setting a new world record in the men’s 100 metres on the eve of Jamaican Diaspora Day, was timely, as it served to highlight what the Jamaican Diaspora organisation was about – celebrating the achievements of Jamaicans both in Jamaica and outside.
Miss Mathurin, who read the Governor General’s Proclamation of Jamaican Diaspora Day, said the High Commission was very proud to facilitate the launch of Jamaican Diaspora UK.
“This is the bringing together of the many organizations, associations and individuals who, over the years, have maintained their links with Jamaica and have provided such invaluable support, both to Jamaica and the High Commission. But to paraphrase a popular advertisement in Jamaica, it is time ‘to step up inna life’. And this is what our Diaspora is now doing – stepping up and being counted,” she said.
The High Commissioner said the observation of Jamaican Diaspora Day and the official launch of the UK Diaspora was just the beginning, adding that as the Jamaican Diaspora UK strengthened its organizational capacity, many issues of common interest and concern would be identified.
She listed some of these as trade and investment, professional networks, issues related to immigration and citizenship, the challenge of engaging second and third generation Jamaicans, and lobby groups to protect the interests of Jamaicans at home and abroad.At an earlier news conference, High Commissioner Mathurin described the day as a truly historic event, which would underline the commitment of Jamaicans everywhere to Jamaica.
The official launch also kicked off five days of activities to mark the occasion. The activities include a special schools’ cultural and heritage programme, seminars on health and immigration issues, the Charity Diaspora Ball, several church services and community meetings with Minister of State with special responsibility for Jamaicans overseas, Senator Delano Franklyn.
United Kingdom representative to the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board, Paulette Simpson, who outlined the structure of the UK group, urged unity among all Jamaican organizations and groups and called on all Jamaicans to become involved.

JIS Social