National Diaspora policy to be developed
State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Pearnel Charles Jr says that strengthening the relationship with the diaspora must include pertinent input from critical stakeholders as much as from the Government.
This active participation, he underscored, would embrace a multiplicity of sectors and stakeholders, including former ministers, state ministers of foreign affairs, current and former members of the Diaspora Advisory Board, the network of diaspora organisations worldwide, academia, and Jamaica's diplomatic and consular missions overseas.
To this end, the foreign affairs ministry and members of the Diaspora Advisory Board have agreed on the execution of a comprehensive consultation process towards the refinement of the draft National Diaspora Policy.
Following a high-level meeting on Monday, January 7, chaired by Minister of State Pearnel Charles Jr, along with the under-secretary, Diaspora Protocol and Consular Affairs Division, the staff of the Diaspora Affairs Department, and the Diaspora Advisory Board, Charles con-firmed that the draft National Diaspora Policy was currently being refined.
"In short order, the policy will be disseminated and deliberated on through a consultative process, which has been unanimously agreed on by all members of the Diaspora Advisory Board," Charles told the meeting.
He said that in order to gain full traction and maintain the maximum benefits from participation, the Diaspora Policy consultation process should be inclusive, transparent, varied, and expansive.
According to Charles, part of the ministry's plan to structure the consultation process is dependent on the ideas and recommendations tabled by the Diaspora bodies and the members of the board.
"This, I believe, will lead to an effective consultation process," he said.
The state minister expressed the hope that the draft National Diaspora Policy would be presented to Cabinet early this year.
The policy is aligned to the goals articulated in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, which is aimed at creating a framework for Jamaica to achieve developed-country status within 12 years as well as national priority documents such as the Medium-Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework.