Soomer, St. Lucia's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 –
NEW YORK (July 28, 2009) - The Office of St. Lucia's Prime Minister is
encouraging St. Lucians in the Diaspora to become more involved in the
development of their 30 year-old nation.
Dr. June Soomer, St. Lucia's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary with
responsibility for the OECS, CARICOM and Diaspora Affairs, is calling on
nationals - both young and old - to participate in a town hall-style forum at
Brooklyn's Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street) on Thursday, August 6 from 6 p.m.
to 9 p.m.
Speaking at the St. Lucia Consulate and Mission to the United Nations this week
while in transit from Taiwan to St. Lucia, Ambassador Soomer announced the
Diaspora Road Show begins this weekend in London and will feature a country team
representing the National Development Bank, the National Development
Corporation, the Ministry of Finance, and the Office of the Prime Minister. The
show then travels to Ottawa and Toronto in Canada as well as several cities in
the United States, including New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Texas and Miami.
"We want people to come out in numbers to hear about the opportunities that are
available in their country," said Ambassador Soomer who believes overseas-based
St. Lucians are not fully aware of investment and small business opportunities
on the island, the availability of government bonds, and the advantages of being
part of the OECS Economic Union to be launched next year.
The Caribbean envoy also said under discussion at the meetings will be
"Homecoming 2010" which she hopes will solidify bonds between St. Lucians at
home and abroad. "We are hoping that over the next year individuals, groups and
associations will recognise the value of celebrating themselves as St. Lucians,"
said Dr. Soomer, who said nationals will congregate next summer in St. Lucia
under the theme "Tout Sent Lisi Se Yonn" (All St. Lucians Are One.)
As part of the homecoming celebrations, Ambassador Soomer anticipates a
stimulating youth summit as well as the launch of an official St. Lucia policy
for the Diaspora. "We will be developing a draft over the next year starting
with the Road Show. We will have a final copy to be signed at the 2010 reunion
so that in the future everybody will be guided by a policy that has been
developed by all St. Lucians."
Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, St. Lucia's Minister-Counsellor at the United Nations
Mission, said the Road Show was an important initiative for the island's 30th
anniversary year. "We have much to celebrate - we think of the St. Lucia Jazz
festival ranked as one of the top five in the world, of Darren Sammy's
achievements in West Indies cricket, a successful Organisation of Eastern
Caribbean States with its single currency which was a precursor to the Euro -
and the leadership role St. Lucia has played in several regional organizations
as well as our two outstanding Nobel laureates Sir Arthur Lewis and Hon. Derek
Walcott," said Flood-Beaubrun.
"Let us now build on our successes by mobilising ourselves in the Diaspora
wherever we may reside for a better and brighter St. Lucia," she added.
St. Lucians attending next Thursday's event in New York will have a chance to
win complimentary hotel stays in St. Lucia.
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