Government creates greater role for Saint Lucia’s overseas diplomats

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Government creates greater role for Saint Lucia’s overseas diplomats

The government of Saint Lucia is committed to ensuring greater representation from its honorary counsels worldwide, which should accrue greater benefits to the country.

The future role of Saint Lucia’s honorary counsels was one of the major recommendations in the report by the island’s Foreign Policy Review Committee.

Chairman and former Prime Minister Dr Vaughn Lewis said the report instructed that Saint Lucia must receive more from its honorary representatives.

“Honorary counsels in the past – when we became independent and after – were really people who knew Saint Lucia and would say a few good things for the country overseas and go to various receptions as representatives of Saint Lucia. Today we believe that those representatives have to play a more extensive role in assisting our prospects for investment into the country and that itself impinges on the character of the Ministry of External Affairs itself,” Dr. Lewis said.

An implementation committee will be appointed to deal specifically with the recommendations contained in the Foreign Policy Review Report.

External Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste said the role and future of honorary counsels will receive special attention.

“The recommendation of the committee concerning the appointment of honorary counsels be the subject of particular review by a joint committee of the Ministries of External Affairs and the Public Service, and in this regard a statement on the current functioning and requirements on honorary representation be prepared,” the minister explained.

The Foreign Policy Review Committee, in its report, recommended that government explores “commercial diplomacy” whereby experts in the field of international relations and diplomacy be engaged to provide honorary representation to Saint Lucia overseas. The aim is to ensure greater efficiency and returns.

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