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Diaspora Conference 2013 - HMFAFT Opening Address

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Jamaicans from home and abroad,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I am convinced that when the history of our times is written, this conference will represent a turning point in our approach to development, where the value of partnership and unity will be recognized and applauded.


I am certainly very proud that under my watch as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, we are living our Vision to execute an inclusive and proactive foreign policy aimed at maximizing Jamaica’s growth and development.


This is what is meant by the use of foreign policy to promote national development.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


I declare to you today that our economic diplomacy is alive and well.


I declare to you today that we are a nation on a mission.


I declare that we are six million strong and growing.


Our Jamaica nation is advancing with unstoppable force.


Today, I feel so proud of our nation – our people at home and abroad.


It is truly remarkable that in partnering with the Diaspora to move this Nation forward, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has presided over a magnificent effort to unleash the collective potential of our public and private sectors and indeed all sectors of civil society.


Look around you. The signs of inclusiveness and unity are everywhere.


Ladies and gentlemen,


This is the spirit of our times.


Truly, the time has come to unleash our potential for growth and development.


It is no wonder, therefore, that this was the vision of the budget presentation of our Prime Minister.


It is not surprising that this turnaround in our thinking is happening under her watch.


For today we have a leader who places tremendous value on family, unity and development, involving all our people everywhere.


Today we have a Head of Government who is recognized by all as a visionary who places people first: as she herself says, balancing the books while balancing people’s lives.


Let there be no doubt that for Portia Simpson Miller, people power is not just a winning slogan, it is a way of life; it is a mark of humility and respect; it is an act of love. How blessed we are to have a Prime Minister who believes so passionately in the potential of the Jamaican people.


This is why she is writing her own history as the leader for our times, a leader who inspires, who exhorts, who extols, who teaches, who nurtures, who understands the importance of leading by example.


The Good Book tells us that without vision the people perish. It also tells us that unless the Lord build the house, they that build it labour in vain.


We are blessed to have a leader who embraces these precepts. We are happy that under the watch of Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, we truly are a nation on a Mission, a people ready to work in partnership for development.


It is fitting, therefore, that this opening ceremony should culminate with words of inspiration and encouragement from Jamaica’s history-making first woman Prime Minister, who is Prime Minister of all Jamaicans wherever they happen to reside and whatever their station in life.


Ladies and gentlemen,


It is surely appropriate, therefore, that we give a warm Jamaican welcome to the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of our Nation.

Contact Address

Jamaican High Commission
Plot 242 Muhammadu Buhari Way
Central Area District
Abuja, Nigeria

Telephone numbers - 09 291 3490 and 081 3606 3356

Email addresses – jamaicanembassy@yahoo.com and info@jhcnig.com

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