|Part of the audience at the Barbados Network Consultation. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
Barbados needs to reach out and embrace its diaspora resident in non-traditional countries.
Head of the Consular Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, John Blackman, made this assertion today as he addressed the Resettlement and Related Issues Seminar on the final day of the Barbados Network Consultation (BNC) 2012 2nd Diaspora Conference, which took place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from August 7 to 10.
The Senior Foreign Service Officer pointed out: "There are Barbadian descendants from Cuba, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica and other Latin American countries who are recognising their Barbadian roots.?? We need to embrace them because they are Barbadians too."
Calling for the closer involvement of persons from the diaspora, he lauded the attendance of the many Barbadians and Barbadian descendants from across the globe who attended the conference.
Adding that many Barbadians also resided in Europe, he stated that it was important for nationals at home to understand and appreciate the diaspora.
Mr. Blackman said that a proposal had been made to establish a Diaspora Museum to help in this regard.?? "…I think something like this would be important [because] you would have the immigration and settlement patterns of Barbadians in their adopted countries… their migration patterns and their contributions [recorded]," he explained.
He noted that Many Barbadians had done well where they lived and a Diaspora Museum would help Barbadians at home "to know and understand the contribution of their counterparts in other countries".
"In the future, we need to continue to have forums such as these… consultations and smaller meetings, where Barbadians in the Diaspora and at home can come together to meet, and exchange ideas on how to take the country forward," Mr. Blackman stressed.