Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Ambassador to build stronger alliances with diaspora

Published:Wednesday | September 21, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks is greeted by Dr Joseph Whittaker (left), Morgan State University professor, at a reception given by the embassy in honour of Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, foreign affairs and foreign trade minister, at the embassy on September 16. Looking on is National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineer Paul Earl.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, addresses Diaspora members at a reception in her honour at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington D.C. on September 16.
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Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks says she will be building stronger alliances between Jamaica and the diaspora, pursuing opportunities for trade and investment, and strengthening the bilateral relationship with the United States.

Her remarks came during her first address to the diaspora since her appointment at a reception to honour Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith at the embassy on September 16.

"As I again take on the role of Jamaica's ambassador to the United States, my particular diaspora focus is in keeping with the charge I have been given by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, to further strengthen the alliance between Jamaica and the diaspora and identify new investment opportunities, including from among the diaspora," she said.

Marks said during the coming weeks she will expand on the plan of action to be undertaken during her tenure, and that she will be looking forward to getting an input from the diaspora.

She said that during her previous appointment, she had had the opportunity to work closely with several members of the diaspora on several projects and philanthropic initiatives, and is very pleased that they have continued to give selflessly in service to the country.

Addressing the same function, Johnson Smith encouraged members of the diaspora to partner with the Government by sharing their thoughts, expertise and best practices to further develop the country.

 

WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE

 

Johnson Smith said it is her intention to forge a stronger and more meaningful partnership with the diaspora that will create opportunities and mechanisms for leveraging this vast potential of human capital.

The minister congratulated Ambassador Marks on her appointment, noting that she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the post, and expressed confidence that she will continue to represent the Government and the people of Jamaica admirably.

Johnson Smith underscored the Government's firm committed to tackle crime and violence affecting the nation.

"The Government is determined to confront this scourge which threatens to derail our best-laid plans for our people," she said.

She emphasised, however, that the Government cannot undertake this task alone, as it requires collaborative actions by all stakeholders - the public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations and all civic societies.