Diaspora issues to be debated at cross-Atlantic forum

Third annual Global Diaspora Forum being held in Dublin and Washington

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks  after being honoured with a Distinguished Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington DC earlier this month. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks after being honoured with a Distinguished Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington DC earlier this month. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Tue, May 14, 2013, 21:46

The potential influence diasporas of all nationalities can have on their home countries and how it can be cultivated will be explored at a two-day conference in Dublin and Washington beginning today.

The third annual Global Diaspora Forum, an initiative of former US secretary of state Hilary Clinton, is being held outside the US for the first time this year.

The European strand of the forum, which will be addressed by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Killiney, Co Dublin this afternoon, has been organised by the Irish International Diaspora Centre Trust. The trust which is involved in establishing an Irish diaspora centre in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin.

Mr Gilmore discussed the idea of hosting the forum in Dublin with Ms Clinton while she was here on a visit last December.

The aim of the event, Ms Clinton said, is to “bring people together to look for ways to cooperate, pursue common interests” and “launch new projects”.

The issues of voting rights for emigrants, the benefits of diaspora networks, emerging trends in diaspora engagement and technological advances which help communities to connect will all be explored over the two days.

Speakers include Economist business editor Robert Guest, co-founder of the US-based Migration Policy Institute Kathleen Newland, director of Global Alumni Relations Sean Brown and Irish Council of State member Sally Mulready.

There will be a live link-up between the forums in Dublin and Washington, where US secretary of state John Kerry is the guest speaker.

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