Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said that the Government will be strengthening relations with the Diaspora and regional and international partners.
Speaking in the 2012/13 Budget Debate in Gordon House on Tuesday (June 5), Mrs. Simpson Miller informed that an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Diaspora Affairs will be established, involving all relevant ministries and agencies of government.
(Related Story: Minister Hylton to Address Trade Issues in Sectoral Debate)
The committee, she said, will work “to ensure that the linkages are in place for fuller participation of our nationals living overseas”.
She pointed out that the Jamaican Diaspora contributes “far more than family remittances” and “has the potential to increase investment in our economy”.
The Prime Minister also advised that the administration will seek to contribute to the revitalization of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), “to make it fulfill the promise, which the founding leaders envisaged”.
(More Story: Jamaica must demonstrate capacity to manage its own affairs – Phillips)
“We strongly believe that CARICOM, working at its best, is an important instrument in the management of our relations (within) the (western) hemisphere and the wider world. This government’s foreign policy will be determined by what is best for Jamaica, what is best for the region, and what we consider to be best for the advancement of humanity,” she contended.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said despite being a small nation, Jamaica will be making every effort to ensure that “our voice and presence continue to be heard and felt in positive and productive ways” in the global community.
“We must see ourselves as making a contribution to peace, good order and sustainable development around the globe. We must play our part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race. There can be no doubt that since Jamaica’s interests – economic and otherwise – remain substantially tied-up with those of our traditional partners, a central pillar of our foreign policy must be the continued nurturing and strengthening of these relations,” she argued.
To this end, Mrs. Simpson Miller, disclosed that in addition to the opening of embassies in Brazil and Kuwait, which took place earlier this year, plans are in place to enhance Jamaica’s presence on the African continent, through the accreditation of a special representative to the African Union.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter