JIS News

The diplomatic community in Washington paid glowing tribute and gave warm statements of praise to outgoing Jamaican Ambassador to Washington, Seymour Mullings, at a farewell function held for him at the Embassy in the United States on Tuesday (Feb. 10).
The well-attended function brought together several United States government officials including representatives from the Congress, members of the international financial community, the Caribbean diplomatic corps, as well as members of the broader Jamaican and Caribbean communities in Washington.
Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) was also in attendance.
The reception was the second of three major events in Washington in recognition of Ambassador Mullings’ tenure as Jamaica’s seventh ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the OAS. Last Thursday (Feb. 5), the CARICOM Ambassadors Caucus hosted a private function for Mr. Mullings, and today, the leadership of the Jamaica Nationals Association, will also stage a reception in his honour.
The conclusion of Ambassador Mullings’ stint in Washington caps 34 years of active and distinguished public service, which began with his election to the Jamaican Parliament in 1969, and involved a range of Cabinet-level ministerial assignments before he was appointed Jamaica’s envoy to the United States in November of 2001.
Deputy Chief-of-Mission, Courtenay Rattray, who chaired the evening’s proceedings, congratulated Ambassador Mullings, on behalf of the Jamaican government, for his exemplary record of public service and his commitment to the Jamaican cause.
Calling Ambassador Mullings “a true statesman” whose life reflected “the highest ideals, integrity, and devotion to the public good,” Mr. Rattray noted that the Jamaican envoy had set “new standards of excellence to which young public servants can aspire.” He also credited Mr. Mullings for providing a sense of reassurance to the mission’s staffers in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks and praised him for instilling a “sense of team and unity, which has served to motivate and inspire us both on a personal as well as on a professional level.”
Civic and community leaders also extolled Mr. Mullings for his decades of contribution to the Jamaican government and people, including President of the Jamaica Nationals Association, Jacqueline Payne, who lauded the Ambassador for his strong support and assistance to the Jamaican community in Washington, as well as throughout the United States.
“By both word and deed, Ambassador Mullings sought to remind the Jamaican community of its obligation to Jamaicans at home and he has succeeded in encouraging many in our community to join all Jamaicans, wherever they exist, in the necessary task of nation-building,” she said.
Ms. Payne also took the opportunity to exhort those in attendance to emulate the Ambassador’s example by “seeking ways to give back to the land of our birth and take advantage of opportunities to reach out to our fellow countrymen who exist on the margins and may be in need of our assistance.”
Mr. Mullings also received a “distinguished public servant” citation from the governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich, which was presented by Hon. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, a Jamaican who is currently serving her third term in the Maryland House of Delegates. For his part, Ambassador Mullings thanked his colleague CARICOM ambassadors and the Jamaican community at large for their “strong support and assistance and (their) deep and meaningful friendship.” He also characterized his term in Washington D.C. as a “remarkable opportunity to serve the interests of Jamaica in the international community and to deepen the bonds of friendship and cooperation” between Jamaica and the United States.
Mr. Mullings also conceded that there was much left to be done “in giving a voice to and advocating issues of critical importance to Jamaica.” He said there was increasing awareness that challenges, which continue to confront small developing countries, like Jamaica, would be best solved through the forging of “meaningful partnerships which take into account differences in size, capacity, and levels of development.”
Describing his return to Jamaica as “an opportunity to contribute to the community outside of the visible glare of public life,” Ambassador Mullings promised to stay engaged in public affairs and to continue his service in the interest of the Jamaican people.

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