By Derrick Scott – Information Attache, Jamaican Embassy, DC
WASHINGTON, DC. Wednesday, November 13, 2019 -- There will be no change in the role that elected members of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC) will play versus the current role of persons elected as Diaspora Advisory Board members when the new body comes into operation next January. Furthermore, the soon to be expanded membership of the Council is widely welcomed by Diaspora members in the US, UK, Canada and globally. This is the word from Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks.
She notes that “over the past few days, I have taken the opportunity to engage with a wide range of Diaspora leaders throughout the Northeast, to make sure that there are no concerns that we are not addressing,”
She further stated that “All the community leaders that Consul General Wilson and I have spoken with, have expressed their support with their better understanding and realization that this is not a government “top-down” imposition. Rather, it is a suggestion that the government is facilitating for greater engagement with the Diaspora,” the Jamaican Ambassador pointed out.
Immediate Past President of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), Dr. Robert Clarke said, “After careful evaluation of the process, it is prudent and we are going in the right direction with the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council. Initially, it was not that apparent to me, it was after careful consultation with Ambassador Marks and other leaders within the region and looking at it from an objective point of view, it is in the best interest of the Diaspora for us to proceed…, ” Dr. Clarke said.
President of Jamaica Association of Maryland and Vice President of NAJASO, Rick Nugent said, “the reorganization is a good move and my association supports the establishment of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council. This is important as it will make a change to the present structure and bring it under one umbrella which would be in the best interest of us here in the Diaspora.”
Registration to vote and nomination of candidates are both underways in the 3 developed Diaspora locations of US, UK, and Canada. Jamaicans from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, The Middle East, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe will join the elected members on the Council in order to support the growth of the movement in those locations.
The GJDC, establishment of which was endorsed by delegates at the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held in June, in Kingston, will replace the Diaspora Advisory Board. It will comprise 28 members, 14 of whom will be elected from Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA), and the other 14 appointed. The Council will involve persons with expertise in the areas of Education; Health and Wellness; Arts; Sports and Culture; Citizen Security; Development Issues; Faith-based Community and Commerce.
Persons have until November 17 to register to vote or to register their candidacy online at www.globaljadiasporacouncil.com.
The elections will be in the form of electronic voting on the website, beginning November 21 and ending on December 15, 2019.
|Jamaica’s Ambassador/USA, Audrey Marks.|
Consul General of Jamaica/NYC
Alsion Roach Wilson, OD