The review of existing Guyanese Honorary Consuls is presently underway with a series of questions being asked to determine the way forward.
This is according to Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, who in a recent interview with the media, stated that there also needs to be the deciphering of why some persons who have been appointed were given their posts in the first place.
“Why some of the places that have been the locations of honorary consulates have been chosen? What is their link to Guyana and what do they do? What can they do? What commercial dimensions does the person have an interest in? What do they know of Guyana? What use has he/she made of the office since appointed? Those questions we are working on with a view to rationalizing the list,” Minister Greenidge had said.
He explained that Guyana, as a developing country, cannot afford to finance many international missions viz Consulates General, High Commissioners and Ambassadors.
It was noted that the country at this point in time has 13 Ambassadors and High Commissioners, and 38 Honorary Consuls worldwide.
According to the Minister, the Honorary Consul is an officer who provides consular services to Guyanese in the country in which they are established and are bestowed with representational benefits and diplomatic privileges for voluntarily carrying the cost.
“If you are a professional doctor, lawyer or you’re in commerce it becomes easier for you to provide that service because you already have the overheads such as office space. You devote some part of it for Guyanese to come and request your assistance, you might have to write to the police or you might have to go to the police station or the lockups or the courts or hospital … a range of functions,” the Foreign Minister had explained.
“The person has to be reasonably well off as well as having those facilities mentioned. People tend not to understand and believe it’s a matter of placing friends. There are some material requirements so you cannot just appoint anyone,” Greenidge emphasized.