In a news release from the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, Marks says “Over the past few days, I have taken the opportunity to engage with a wide range of Diaspora leaders throughout the North East, to make sure that there are no concerns that we are not addressing.”
She notes 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.”
"Furthermore," she said "the soon to be expanded membership of the Council is widely welcomed by Diaspora members in the US, UK, Canada and globally."
The Embassy release quotes Immediate Past President of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), Dr. Robert Clarke as saying: “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,” says Clarke.
President of the Jamaica Association of Maryland and Vice President of NAJASO, Rick Nugent who had initially been opposed to the elections, was quoted in the release as saying: “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.”
Nugent said "many of these changes were coming from the Diaspora conference held in Jamaica and appealed to members of the Diaspora to support the new Council and to support candidates vying for office. Everywhere in the world you go, there are Jamaicans. Not just in the US, England and Canada, but also in Africa Asia and Europe, and this facility will give them a chance to be involved and engaged in where Jamaica is going,”
Registration to vote and nomination of candidates are under way in the United States, UK and Canada. In addition, 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 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, will replace the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board.
It will comprise 28 members, 14 of whom will be elected from Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and 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.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE GLOBAL JAMAICA DIASPORA COUNCIL
- Countries: Jamaica