Foreign Affairs Ministry continues to engage diaspora

─ IOM’s report on diaspora engagement being deliberated by the Cabinet

─ Diaspora forum hosted to address concerns, look at initiatives to improve relations

─ Matters involving Windrush Generation addressed during CHOGM 2018 by team of ministers

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 17, 2018

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been engaging the Guyanese diaspora and continues to address issues affecting them, taking into consideration the recommendations by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) submitted in a report to the Cabinet.

This is according to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, who recently noted that the IOM’s report pointed to initiatives that can be pursued, which will be advantageous to the diaspora.

Among the recommendations, was the need for more collaboration among related ministries and agencies and frequent meetings to address matters in the diaspora.

In this vein, a diaspora conference was organised dealing specifically with remittances for which enough institutions are not in place, to ensure unnecessary diversion of the income, the minister noted.

“High-interest rates, excessive fees, administrative fees for moving these things…the report was made…those recommendations are available and they don’t need anything by way of a formal institutional mechanism. It is for the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Guyana essentially to pursue,” Minister Greenidge explained.

Another report was presented by the IOM following a second bout of consultations with the diaspora in Canada and Florida and New York, USA, arising from comments in the USA about lack of sufficient consultations in the diaspora.

The modified report is with the Cabinet for deliberation.

Minister Greenidge reminded that the greatest interface with the government and the diaspora occurs at the Consular level.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to assist Guyanese in respective countries in relation to documentation and other difficulties they encounter, he assured.

During the course of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting hosted in London earlier this year, Minister Greenidge was part of a team of ministers who participated in a meeting related to the problem with the Windrush Generation.

This is the diaspora that migrated to the United Kingdom prior to 1973, some of whom arrived there as British citizens and some as dependents of British citizens and having lived there for over 40 years, found themselves stateless for various “odd” reasons.

Some of these persons were deported while others were imprisoned. Minister Greenidge said the High Commissioner, who had liaised with diaspora groups and individuals, along with the team of ministers, was able to take the matter to the UK Prime Minister and have it resolved.

By: Stacy Carmichael.

Image: Jameel Mohamed.

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