WASHINGTON, DC – Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade announces that His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States of America (USA) and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), will demit office at the end of his three-year contract on 17th July, 2015.
Ambassador Vasciannie has opted to return to academic life at the university level.
Prime Minister the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller has commended Ambassador Vasciannie for his outstanding service to Jamaica: “On behalf of the government, I wish to thank you for representing and promoting Jamaica’s interests at the highest level as Jamaica’s diplomatic envoy in Washington over the past three years. Under your able and shrewd stewardship, several diplomatic initiatives have been undertaken to enhance and strengthen relations between Jamaica and the United States of America. You served with distinction as Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council of Ambassadors and gained the respect and admiration of your hemispheric colleagues for your scholarly stewardship and measured approach.
You positioned Jamaica judiciously on a number of sensitive international political issues and have upheld Jamaica’s positions of principle, including on occasions when some of Jamaica’s most important bilateral partners were polarised. The CARICOM Caucus in Washington D.C. and indeed the wider membership of the OAS have relied on your competence in matters of international law and practice and this has allowed Jamaica to play a leading role in the hemispheric institution on matters of governance, human rights and international political law. This culminated in your recent election to chair the Inter-American Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, underlining the esteem that Jamaica has enjoyed in the OAS under your leadership.
On the bilateral front, you have paid special attention to the area of security cooperation, engaging actively with the US State Department and Congress on matters relating to trafficking in persons, deportation, and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. You have also served with distinction as CARICOM lead spokesperson on trade issues and hosted events to promote enhanced trade and investment between Jamaica and the USA.”
Senator the Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson, QC, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade also has high commendation for Ambassador Vasciannie’s tenure as Head of Mission in Washington DC. “Jamaica thanks you for your sterling and dedicated service as Ambassador of Jamaica to the US. We know that you approached this mission with the zeal, dedication and studious attention to detail for which you are well known. We wish you continued success in the future.”
At the same time, Jamaica’s top man in Washington has said that it has been a high honour to serve as the Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the OAS: “This has been an important time for Jamaica/USA relations over a wide range of issues, including human rights, economic development, security and political affairs. The visit of President Obama to Jamaica in April of this year has confirmed that under Prime Minister Simpson Miller’s leadership, our relationship with the USA has reached a significant high-point. It has also been my honour to work within the OAS, and to present Jamaican perspectives in the leading multilateral forum for the Western Hemisphere. I am grateful to the Prime Minister for affording me this opportunity to serve Jamaica.”