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  • Plans are underway for the staging of the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which is to be held in Kingston from June 16 to 20, 2019.
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the planning is in the preliminary stages and the Ministry will be seeking the input of overseas nationals in order to make the conference a success.
  • “Your voices will form part of the programmes and events that will be implemented,” he pointed out.

Plans are underway for the staging of the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which is to be held in Kingston from June 16 to 20, 2019.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the planning is in the preliminary stages and the Ministry will be seeking the input of overseas nationals in order to make the conference a success.

“Your voices will form part of the programmes and events that will be implemented,” he pointed out.

The State Minister was addressing members of the United States Diaspora (US) at its inaugural leadership summit at the Morrow Convention Center in Georgia.

He hailed the three-day event, held from November 16 to 18, as “timely and visionary” as it places Diaspora interests on the centre stage.

“It presents an opportunity to further cement intra-Diaspora partnerships with the national goals in sight,” he added.

Noting that an objective of the summit is the development of a strategic Diaspora development plan, Mr. Charles Jr. said that the plan should be inclusive “where it brings together the Jamaican organisations, associations and task forces and those who may not be affiliated with any group. It should also entail strong partnerships and co-operation across a wide spectrum at the local and national levels.”

He said the plan should also embrace the youth.

“I intend to lead the establishment of Diaspora Youth Councils so that the young people will have a functional space to craft ingenious strategies and progammes for their own empowerment. I also wish to expand the Birthright Programme by giving youngsters the opportunity to experience Jamaica in terms of the work environment and culture. This will serve to strengthen the affinity and linkages with Jamaica,” he noted.

In her remarks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, pointed out that the Jamaican Diaspora represents more than a source of remittances, noting that the Government of Jamaica sees nationals abroad as important partners in nation-building.

“Your support, over the years, which has taken many forms, is deeply appreciated. As the Government takes the necessary steps to take the country to the next level of development, we invite you to join in, so that together, we can realise Vision 2030, which seeks to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Marks informed that the Embassy will stage a number of town hall meetings in key cities across the United States so that Jamaicans can be aware of the impact of the evolving policies on Jamaicans living in the country.