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JM | Aug 8, 2022

Diplomatic Corps congratulates Jamaica on 60th Anniversary

/ Our Today

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left), welcomes President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, to Jamaica for a three-day State Visit on April 13. His visit was intended for the deepening of bilateral relations between the countries and coincided with Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence, being celebrated this year. (File Photo: JIS)

As Jamaica celebrated its 60th anniversary of Independence on August 6, diplomatic relations will continue to evolve and expand to help the nation achieve economic independence.

That’s the word from Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, who told the Jamaica Information Service that “formal diplomatic relations is one of the elements of sovereignty.

“So, this ministry and our continued work is actually a fundamental pillar of Jamaica’s Independence project,” Johnson Smith said.

“We not only have to ground ourselves in political independence but we need to soar towards economic independence [and] economic partnerships to change systems which are set against us, [and] that is the work of this ministry.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith addresses the delegation from the Republic of Namibia, during day one of two, of the Joint Committee between the two countries. The committee met at the Ministry’s building in Kingston on August 2 to discuss matters relating to tourism, health and agriculture, among other areas of common interest. (Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson)

She also highlighted that the country’s Diamond Jubilee is an “important benchmark” for reflection on what Jamaica has achieved.

“[We should] consider ourselves [to be] at a point of springboarding into a more prosperous, peaceful, and stable future,” she said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade was one of the earliest established government ministries. It was known as the Ministry of External Affairs in 1962 and is mandated to strengthen the links between Jamaica and the rest of the world.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr (right) greets the Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Chen Daojiang, during the reopening ceremony of the eastern entrance at the Hope Royal Botanical Gardens in St Andrew on July 7. (Photo: Donald De La Haye)

It is against this backdrop, that China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Chen Daojiang, and other members of the Diplomatic Corps expressed best wishes for the nation as it approached its Diamond Jubilee.

“[This] Diamond Jubilee of Independence provides a great opportunity for Jamaica to gather national strength and plan for future development. I sincerely wish that Jamaica would achieve the goal of reigniting a nation for greatness and become the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” Chen said.

He highlighted that, while the Chinese community joins in the Independence celebrations, the international community should also “strengthen solidarity and cooperation,” while facing global challenges.

Along the same line, Sanjay Nanwani, director of the Industry Division in the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Singapore, said: “We [the Singapore delegation] wish you a very happy 60th Independence Day and many more years of continued progress, peace, security and prosperity.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (left), speaks with (from left) Minister in the Presidency of the Republic of Namibia, Christine Hoebes; Minister of Social Transformation and the Blue Economy in Antigua and Barbuda, Dean Jonas, and Minister of Higher Education, Innovation and Training of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, during a reception at the Ministry on August 3. They were celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is operated under the International Seabed Authority (ISA). (Photo: Michael Sloley)

In the meantime, Sergey Petrovich, ambassador of the Russian Federation, also congratulated the nation.

“Jamaica has achieved very impressive achievements in all works of life, in socio-economic development [and] in other fields like education, culture, sports and many others,” he emphasised.

Since 1962, the ministry has evolved with the inclusion of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the Caribbean, North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Diplomatic relations have been established with countries such as the Republic of Namibia, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belgium, India, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Austria, Italy and Suriname among many others.

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