Diaspora Conference | Jamaica's Ambassadors: Diaspora ready to engage the country
Ambassadors from the three main regions populated by Jamaicans are in the island participating in the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, which comes to a close today at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
Speaking with The Gleaner on Sunday, during the opening ceremony held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, the ambassadors shared their expectations for the conference.
Janice Miller, Jamaica's high commissioner to Canada, contended on Sunday that the opening ceremony set a good stage for what was to be expected from the conference.
"We knew that the conference was going to be exciting and engaging," Miller declared.
"I think there is going to be a rich and vibrant discussion. the programme itself, when you look at the topics that are going to be covered - health, education, crime and security, entrepreneurship, opportunities for investment - I think we are going to have a conference that is very rich in discussion, but more importantly, one with actionable and implementable outcomes."
For George Ramocan, Jamaica's high commissioner to the United Kingdom, a renewed commitment to Jamaica was on full display at the opening ceremony.
"You could feel that there was a renewal and a re-commitment by the Diaspora to truly participate in Jamaica's development. I think there is a sort of readiness on the ground as we participate in this conference," Ramocan said.
He added that, from this year's conference, he wanted it to be very clear how the Diaspora can participate as "they are ready".
"What will be very good is if we can make it clearer and clearer how the Diaspora can participate. I really want to see engagement."
IT IS ENCOURAGING
Audrey Marks, Jamaica's ambassador to the United States, shared the sentiments of her colleague ambassadors, describing the spirit and vibe of the opening ceremony as "encouraging".
Marks told The Gleaner she wanted to hear the priorities of the Diaspora.
"I am listening to hear, from the Diaspora, the sort of 1, 2, 3 main areas that they want to put their resources in - their time, their energy, any material resources that they have. I want to hear how we can get to implementing these initiatives and we will work with them to ensure it gets done," Marks said.
"My priority is to ensure that it is not another talk shop."
At the end of Sunday's opening ceremony, it was reported that more than 1,200 persons from the Diaspora had registered to participate in the conference.