By PAVEL BAILEY
THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs celebrated the appointment of seven new envoys at an official swearing-in ceremony at the Balmoral Club yesterday.
Among them was former Tribune cartoonist and “celebrity artist” Jamaal Rolle who has been appointed ambassador-at-large for cultural affairs.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell as well as several other government officials were in attendance as the seven envoys took their oath of office for ambassadorial appointments.
Former Cabinet minister Hope Strachan has been appointed ambassador/permanent representative to UNESCO; former BTC CEO Leon Williams is ambassador to the International Telecommunications Union; former Cabinet minister Damian Gomez has been made ambassador-at-large to the Inter-American Council on Human Rights; and former Marathon MP Ron Pinder has been appointed ambassador-at-large of the Independence Celebrations Committee.
The other envoys include public relations specialist Al Dillette, who has been appointed consul general at the Bahamas Consulate in Toronto, Canada and entrepreneur Winston Pinnock, the new ambassador/permanent representative to the Food and Agricultural Organisation.
Mr Mitchell apologised for Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis’ absence at the ceremony, explaining the nation’s leader was tied up in a telephone meeting with other CARICOM leaders yesterday.
He said that the new appointees will represent the ideals of the nation on a global stage.
“So I’m saying that those who join the foreign service ought to represent all the people of The Bahamas and so therefore it is not strictly a body of people who are academically trained but bring all their experiences to The Bahamas.”
Mr Mitchell warned the new appointees to be mindful in their new positions as he said they now spoke as agents of the Bahamian government and should do so with careful discretion.
“Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees are agents of the government, so when you become an ambassador or service officer you no longer have your own opinions. So, therefore, venting on Facebook is not an option because you are acting on behalf of the commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
As to the newly created position of consul general in Toronto, Mr Mitchell said to the press that the new appointment was aimed at helping the high concentration of Bahamians in Toronto and Halifax.
“So, even though Ottawa is where the capital of Canada is and so that is where the high commission or the embassy is, Bahamians are mainly in Toronto. Let's start there, which is Canada’s largest city. So for some time Bahamians have been saying that Ottawa is too far to go to, certainly if you're in Halifax it’s too far to go to, too difficult to get to if they need consular issues addressed,” Mr Mitchell said.
“So the thinking is to put a consulate in Toronto which will be able to deal with the concerns and issues connected with the Bahamian community in Toronto. And hopefully as well at some point there will be an outreach to British Columbia and to Halifax where there are clusters of Bahamians living largely because they went to school there.”
Speaking on behalf of the other appointees, Mr Dillette said that they were all honoured to be selected to serve their country on the international stage and that they would execute their new duties diligently.
“On behalf of myself and the others in our group. . .I will say that it is our intention, and please pass this on to the prime minister, to do our level best to represent the country and to continue the contributions in the international affairs of state as best we can. Thank you all very much,” Mr Dillette said.
GodSpeed 1 year, 2 months ago
How many of these new government dole positions are actually needed? I'm guessing zero.
realfreethinker 1 year, 2 months ago
Here we go again. creating jobs for their cronies when there isn't one. Where is all of this money coming from?
tribanon 1 year, 2 months ago
And of course we all know the unusually close relationship that exists between Fwreddy Boy and his favourite travel bosom buddy Al Dilette.
I suspect certain of these newly anointed 'envoys' will be vacationing with Fwreddy Boy in Italy this Summer on the taxpayers' dime.
birdiestrachan 1 year, 2 months ago
Mr: Rolle is a very talented Artis He has a gift given to him by God.
I wish him God's speed.
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