The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has announced that Senator Don Wehby, Group Chief Executive Officer of Grace Kennedy has been named Conference Chairman for the upcoming 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference in Kingston from June 16-20.

According to Senator Wehby, he is honoured to have been asked to assume this role for this year’s conference. He said, “Following my conversation with Minister Johnson Smith, my call to service was reinforced, and I gladly accepted.”

Minister of State with responsibility for the Diaspora, Pearnel Charles Jr. said, “Senator Don Wehby is well positioned given his chairmanship of JAMPRO and as a senior private sector leader. He represents an independent authentic voice who understands the Government of Jamaica’s agenda.”

According to Minister Charles Jr, “Last Friday, I met with our Conference Chairman, Senator Don Wehby, and Chief Executive Officer of Grace Kennedy Limited, who committed to bring his expertise and resources for the staging of a successful event. As you may know, the Conference is an inspired example of public private partnership and promises to be an exciting, invigorating and meaningful event. We will give participants a truly memorable experience.”

The Conference is being convened under the theme: “Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development.”

Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Meets with the Jamaican Diaspora in Paris

Continuing his outreach to the Jamaican Diaspora in Europe, Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, met with a warm and welcoming group of Jamaican nationals on a cold Sunday afternoon in Paris.  This is Minister Charles’ first contact with JAMINFRANCE, the organization launched in October 2017 to bring together the Jamaicans in this part of Europe, with the aim of promoting their culture and strengthening the links between Jamaica and France in support of our bilateral relations.  The President of the Organisation is Mr. Edward Boucher.

In his address to the group, Minister Charles lauded the work and role of JAMINFRANCE and charged that the Diaspora must be an integral part of national development.  In sharing with them recent developments in respect of the economy and the society, the Minister said: “Jamaicans can be proud of the effort that is put into moving the country in the right direction”, even as he acknowledged that there is much that still needs to be done.  “Every enthusiastic contribution of the Diaspora will help”, he added.

In the ensuing discussion, the Minister responded to issues raised and welcomed compliments which were extended to the Government, including in the area of environmental awareness.

JAMINFRANCE is looking forward to receiving and supporting the Reggae Girls when they play in France in World Cup Soccer in summer this year.


Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr. Meets with the Jamaican Diaspora in Brussels

Members of the small but supportive Jamaican Diaspora in Brussels met on Friday 18th January 2019 with Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the offices of Embassy of Jamaica.

Minister Charles had the close attention of all present when he shared on the importance he attached to the relations between Jamaica and its communities overseas and his vision for enhancing Diaspora engagement.  In this regard, he provided updates on recent actions taken by the Foreign Ministry, in collaboration with other entities in the private and public spheres.  He invited Diaspora communities like Brussels to consider representation at the 2019 Diaspora Conference  scheduled to be held 16th to 20th June.  The Minister also gave an update on recent positive developments in the Jamaican economy and society, acknowledging that there remain many intractable challenges, whose resolution require the commitment and contribution of all.

In a robust, frank and open exchange, Minister Charles addressed the concerns and welcomed the interest of those present.  Members of the community in turn pledged to use the opportunities offered to work to support the development of their communities and homeland, Jamaica.

Minister Charles was in Brussels to participate in the European Union Visitors Programme (EUVP).

Jamaican Embassy Pays Tribute to Local Staff Member for 35 years of Service to Jamaica

The Ambassador and staff of the Embassy of Jamaica in Brussels were joined by former staff members and representatives of the Jamaican community in Brussels, in paying tribute to Mrs. Isabelle Delcourt, a locally-engaged member of staff, for her thirty five (35) years of service to Jamaica.  Glowing tributes were also delivered on behalf of  former Heads of Mission and members of staff, currently serving in Headquarters and other missions, in recognition of the admirable personal and professional attributes which Mrs. Delcourt exhibited over the years, endearing her to all.  It was acknowledged by colleagues that ‘Isa’ as she is affectionately called, has been an invaluable source of information and assistance, especially to the home-based staff members.

In a letter read by Mrs. Joan Thomas-Edwards, Acting Senior Director for Foreign Trade, who was attending meetings in Brussels, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, Permanent Secretary and former head of Mission in Brussels, conveyed on behalf of Foreign Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith and the Foreign Ministry, deep gratitude for the dedication and commitment with which Mrs. Delcourt served.  She acknowledged that her ‘congeniality and readiness to assist in times of crisis have been commendable’.

Mrs. Delcourt received the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service from the Government of Jamaica in 2004, at which time she had accomplished twenty years at the Embassy.