More structured engagement proposed between Caribbean envoys in US and diaspora

Dear Editor,

Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States Dr. Riyad Insanally has suggested that there be a more structured process of engagement between the Caribbean Diplomatic Caucus  in Washington DC and the Caribbean diaspora to ensure that efforts to advance the cause of the region and its people are well defined and co-ordinated. In this regard he has recommended that there be quarterly consultations between the caucus and the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) based here and which has been spearheading the work of the diaspora in lobbying the US Congress on issues in US/Caribbean relations.

The Ambassador threw out the suggestion in his address to the opening session of the 20th annual Carib-bean American Legislative Briefing Thursday on Capitol Hill put on by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS). Ambassador Insanally’s address followed that of US  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Caribbean and Canada, Kenneth Merten who formally opened the briefing.

“I once again wish to thank ICS for inviting me to speak today. And even as I commend your constant and tireless advocacy in support of Caribbean interests on the Hill, I would like to suggest that there is scope for closer engagement with the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors in ensuring that we are always singing from the same hymn sheet. For this, you have my full support and I would suggest that we pursue meetings, at least once a quarter, to develop a coherent, joint strategy of outreach,” Ambassador Insanally told the audience to resounding applause.

The Ambassadors of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and The Bahamas were among Caribbean diplomats who also addressed specific issues during the day’s deliberations along with key members of the US Congress including Eliot Engel, Brendan Boyle, Darren Soto, Barabara Lee and Maxine Waters.

Yours faithfully,

Wesley Kirton

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