Wed | Aug 12, 2020

Johnson Smith proud of new diplomatic appointments

Published:Wednesday | July 8, 2020 | 12:17 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Kamina Johnson Smith
Kamina Johnson Smith

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith says the continued implementation of the country’s foreign policy is vital, particularly so in the midst of the many social and economic challenges that have attended the global pandemic.

Her statement comes against the background of the new appointments of three diplomats who will take up respective postings in Japan and Canada.

The appointments are that of career diplomat Shorna-Kay Richards, who will replace Ambassador Ricardo Alicock, whose tour of duty ended in February of this year. Richards is the new ambassador-designate to Japan.

Ambassador Sharon Miller will replace namesake Ambassador Janice Miller (no relation) as high commissioner-designate to Canada, while Lincoln Downer will serve as the new consul general to Toronto.

Richards and Miller are expected to assume duties in September, while Downer will take up his duties in August.

‘EXCELLENTLY PREPARED’

“They are being assigned new diplomatic responsibilities with opportunities to contribute to our strengthened engagement with important bilateral and diaspora partners,” said Johnson Smith, speaking of the new appointments.

“They are not only eager to take up their new assignments, but are already excellently prepared,” she continued.

Johnson Smith said that as the country looks beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and tackles its socio-economic impact, the foreign affairs ministry will leverage Jamaica’s strong relationship with global partners to support the recovery and sustain the positive trajectory for growth and development.

“Jamaica will forge ahead with strengthening its linkages across the world by using its strategic foreign policy to further advance national development goals,” she said.

She underscored the importance of leveraging the support of international partners to increase the country’s resilience and to “build back better”.

In reference to the ministry’s overseas representation, Johnson Smith stated that, “Although the pandemic has given rise to some adjustments to our rotation schedule, it is my pleasure to announce the appointments of three of our long-serving career foreign service officers.”

Smith expressed confidence that the three foreign service experts will represent Jamaica with distinction.

“They are all consummate professionals, with broad experience in their respective areas, and will help drive an effective and strategic foreign policy in support of Jamaica’s economic recovery and growth beyond COVID-19,” she said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com