Black Immigrant Daily News
Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Dr Richard Bernal, died suddenly on Wednesday afternoon in St Andrew.
Bernal was an economist and long-time diplomat.
In a statement on the development, Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed sadness at Bernal’s passing. He paid tribute to him, says Jamaica has lost a pillar of the academic and diplomatic community.
“Ambassador Bernal gave committed service to his beloved country, Jamaica, and to elevating our status and relations with bilateral and hemispheric partners,” said Holness.
“He represented the people of Jamaica with honour, dignity and professionalism,” he added.
Bernal was Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), positions he held for over 10 years between May 6, 1991 and August 31, 2001.
Holness said Bernal “had a wide breadth of understanding of international economic policy and economic development as they affect small-island developing states such as Jamaica and other countries of CARICOM (Caribbean Community).
“His experience with CARICOM institutions, international development financing institutions and as an academic, demonstrated his competence and commitment to the promotion of Jamaica’s role in the world,” stated Holness.
Meanwhile, the prime minister declared that Bernal’s legacy will “live on in the continued manifestation of Jamaica’s positive engagements with our global partners and dexterous navigation of global issues that affect the South and, indeed, the world as a whole.”
After his stint as Ambassador, Bernal went on to hold several regional and international roles.
He was a member of the broad of directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (2008-2016), and was a Chief Trade Negotiator for CARICOM.
As the Director-General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) for eight years, he had responsibility for trade negotiations for CARICOM.