In a video message to members of the diaspora, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, said the GJDC will be an expanded and more inclusive body.
She said that it will include Jamaicans from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe.
“This is an exciting prospect given that Jamaicans can be found all over the world and, therefore, should be represented on this advisory body if we are to truly expand our engagement,” she said.
In addition, she said that 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.
Mrs. Johnson Smith said it was important for young people to be a part of the Council.
“Their involvement is critical to the sustainability of the diaspora movement, which is important to the continued growth and development of Jamaica,” she noted.
The Senator encouraged Jamaicans residing in Canada, the UK and the USA to offer themselves as candidates and/or nominate qualified persons to serve on the new Council.
“As a Jamaican, it is your right to participate and know who will serve on this committee to represent ideas relating to Jamaica and its diaspora. If you think you have the time and the inclination to serve on this body, I encourage you to offer yourself as a candidate,” she added.
The GJDC, establishment of which was endorsed by delegates at the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held in June, will replace the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board.
It will be comprised of 28 members, 14 of whom will be elected from Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and United States of America (USA).
Persons have until November 17 to register their candidacy online at www.GlobalJADiasporaCouncil.com.
The elections will be held in the form of electronic voting on the site, and will run for an extended period beginning November 21 and ending on December 15, 2019.
Jamaicans residing in the Northeast Region of the United States are up in arms over the government's proposed new organization to represent members of the diaspora, "Global Jamaica Diaspora Council," and the manner in which it proposes to have persons elected to its Board, without consultation.
Community leaders in the Northeast region, including elected officials, are calling for the Jamaican Government to postpone elections for the Global Jamaica Diaspora council which will replace the long standing Diaspora Advisory Board, until further discussions have been held with the community.
The Diaspora leaders wants the government to ensure that elected members of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council are representatives of their communities and not solely advisors to the Foreign Ministry.
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