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JIS News

The first United States of America (USA)/Jamaica Diaspora Conference, initially planned for June, has been rescheduled to October.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson, confirmed the new date during an interview with JIS News, following a meeting with members of the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board for the Northeast USA held yesterday (April 21) at the offices of the Jamaican Consulate in New York City.
Dr. Robinson, who has portfolio responsibility for the Jamaican Diaspora, said that the date was revised from June to October for various reasons, including financial considerations, given the current economic climate.
The two-day conference was originally planned for June 13 and 14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and according to chair of the Northeast USA Advisory Board, Patrick Beckford, venue selection was partly to be blamed for the postponement of the meeting.
Mr. Beckford said that the original June date would now be used as a key planning session for the October conference.
In the meantime, Dr. Robinson praised the outcome of the meeting in New York, which, he said, identified “some common but key operating features, so that we can have the information flowing in a very organised way.”
“I thought it was a very good meeting with the Diaspora Board for the Northeast region. Some objectives were achieved and members left re-energised and with a clearer direction in terms of the working relationship.”
He informed that the October conference, as well as a database project being spearheaded by Consul-General to New York Geneive Brown Metzger, would be among the agenda topics at monthly meetings in which he will be engaged, along with representatives of the Diaspora movement in the United States, heads of missions, and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute.
Additionally, the Northeast Board will have bi-monthly meetings with the Consul-General and will be working with the youth and future leaders for possible participation in the Youth Leaders Conference in Jamaica from August 4 to 8.
“We are going to be collaborating on a very fulsome collection of information about our nationals to better enhance the two-way communication between Government and our nationals in the Diaspora,” Consul-General Brown Metzger said.
Dr. Robinson has been on a four-state visit to the Northeast USA since Friday, April 17. The visit ends on Saturday, April 25.