Book of Condolences opens at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington to Honour the Late Ambassador Richard Bernal

Book of Condolences opens at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington to Honour the Late Ambassador Richard Bernal

Washington, DC, (January 17, 2023): Members of the Diaspora along with members of the diplomatic corp and members of vartious US Government agencies, will have an oppoprtunity to pay tribute to one of Jamaica' longest serving ambassadors to the United States, Richard Bernal, when a Book of Condolences opens at the Jamain Embassy in Washington DC on Tuesday January 17, 2023 starting at 10:00 am.

The Book of Condolences will be opened at the Embassy, located at 1520 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20036, until Friday, 20th January 2023 at 3:00 p.m, and will be giving the members of the diaspora and the public at large an opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of Honourable Ambassador Dr. Richard Bernal who served Jamaica as an Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American states for ten years.

“We have lost an exceptional statesman and academic, who used his skills to foster good relations between Jamaica and our bilateral and multilateral partners,” said Ambassador Marks. Ambassador Bernal, Jamaica’s sixth Ambassador to the USA, was an economist, banker, academic and diplomat who represented Jamaica in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 2001.

He would subsequently go on to lead the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery as Director-General and then, among other positions, served as University of the West Indies Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs.

“It is with deep regret that I learned of Ambassador Richard Bernal’s sudden passing on 4th January,” Ambassador Marks stated. “On behalf of the Embassy of Jamaica, I join with the Diaspora in the United States of America in thanking Ambassador Richard Bernal for his extraordinary service to Jamaica and the Caribbean on so many fronts.

I also convey heartfelt condolences to Ambassador Bernal’s wife of 51 years, Margaret, and to their sons, the rest of the family. His passing is a great loss to us all.”

At the time of his passing on January 3, 2023, Ambassador Bernal, former Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States, was also Senior Associate for the Americas Programme at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

In April 2021 he was appointed to the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.”

Former Prime Minister and head of The P.J. Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy Mr. P.J. Patterson, in a statement “recognised the stellar and indispensable contribution which Ambassador Bernal has made to the work of the Institute from its planning, inception and up to the very day of his sudden and untimely passing.”

Richard Bernal, an economist, had a distinguished academic career as lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and in banking, serving as CEO of Workers Bank, before being appointed Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative at the Organization of American States from 1991 to 2001.

He also served as Director-General the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery during a period of crucial global, regional and hemispheric trade talks. In more recent years, Ambassador Bernal served as a Pro Vice-Chancellor at the UWI.

Caption. Ambassador Richard   Bernal congratulates Ambassador Audrey Marks on her appointment as Jamaica’s first female ambassador to the United States at the reception hosted by the Embassy after she presented credentials to President Barack Obama in June 2008, to begin her first stint as ambassador. (Photo Derrick A Scott.)

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