St. George’s: The Grenada National Reparations Committee (GNRC) extends congratulations to St. Lucia-born Dr. June Soomer, who is now Chair of the UN-backed Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (PFPAD).
The United Nations General Assembly launched the Permanent Forum in 2021 as a consultative mechanism for people of African descent and other relevant stakeholders to improve the safety and quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent.
The PFPAD also serves as an advisory body to the U.N. Human Rights Council, in line with the programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent that covers the period 2015 – 2024.
“Honourable Ambassador, Dr. June Soomer, brings a wealth of experience to the position of Chair of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent,’’ said a statement from GNRC, which is headed by attorney Arley Gill. “We couldn’t think of anyone better suited to Chair the Permanent Forum. We are confident that she’ll provide stellar leadership and would make St. Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean proud as she carries out her duties as PFPAD Chair.’’
Dr. Soomer, whose appointment took effect on January 1, is one of two CARICOM representatives on the PFPAD. The other is Gaynael Curry from The Bahamas.
A University of the West Indies graduate, Dr. Soomer received a PhD in History from UWI, Cave Hill Campus, in 1994. She was the first female to graduate with a doctorate in this discipline at Cave Hill.
The Ambassador, who also is an accomplished author, is Chair of the UWI Global Campus Council. The Global Campus was formerly known as the UWI Open Campus.
She has served in the diplomatic, financial and educational fields regionally and internationally, and has more than 40 years of academic and professional experience in management, operational and technical areas.
Dr. Soomer was the first woman to serve as St. Lucia’s Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and CARICOM, with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs.
In addition, she was an OECS Commissioner and was the first female Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States.
In 2021, St Lucia presented her with its highest national award, the “Saint Lucia Cross’’.