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Johnson Smith in New York for diaspora policy consultation

Published:Wednesday | April 10, 2019 | 10:15 AM
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith - File photo

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, led a focus group dialogue comprising key stakeholders and community leaders in New York towards the refinement of the draft National Diaspora Policy.

The focus group meeting was held at the office of the Consulate General of Jamaica on Wednesday, a day after New York’s official launch of the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference to be held in June.

Johnson Smith, who left the island on Monday, explained the importance of engaging with members of the Diaspora through a comprehensive consultation process.

“The Government of Jamaica is serious about the adoption and implementation of a robust and effective national diaspora policy. We are undertaking a wide consultative process accessible online from everywhere we are present across the globe, as well as face to face discussions in cities where large populations of our diaspora reside. We want our community at home and abroad to play a critical part in the decision-making process, so that the policy reflects their views in a real way,” she said.

Johnson Smith added, “We recognise that the appropriate legislative, policy and governance frameworks are required for the successful implementation of the diaspora policy, so that the rights of the Diaspora are protected and that their valuable contributions are acknowledged. The policy is one more important step on this path of deeper and sustainable engagement.”

She reminded that persons wishing to provide feedback on the policy should use the email address diasporapolicy@mfaft.gov.jm by May 17, 2019, so that their views can be considered.

She indicated the intention is to have the policy as one of the principal outcomes of the upcoming diaspora conference so that it will be ready for approval by Cabinet and tabling in Parliament.

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