Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said the delay in announcing the new Heads of Mission, including the Consuls General, is as a result of the varying processes that must be obtained.
He explained that the first step in the process is to identify eligible candidates and get clearance for such appointments locally and simultaneously notifying the host country of eligible candidates, so as to initiate a further series of processes which the host country must take.
“While Guyana itself may not have as thorough a process as a country like the United States with many interests, many threats, many dangers facing it, we recognise that there is a protocol and a right on the part of those countries to examine the names that they receive carefully,” Minister Greenidge was quoted as saying by GINA.
The process of scrutiny undertaken by host countries can take up to three months just to vet, hence the delay in making such changes.
According to him, the heads of missions have community obligations to attend; they also participate in a number of events involving Guyana and interfacing with opinion-forming elements within the community such as universities, research institutes, as well as Guyanese and other varying Caribbean associations.
“In New York also there is an ambassador who is the permanent representative to the United Nations…this is a specialised area as multilateral diplomacy is different from bilateral diplomacy…it requires special skills,” Minister Greenidge said.
The Ambassador, who is based in Washington and deals with relations between Guyana and the United States, also has an obligation for the Organisation of American States, which is a forum that calls for highly skilled diplomats versed in other languages.
“You’re looking for persons with the capacity as they are required to multi-task, dealing with a range of countries, languages, cultural and protocol practices,” GINA reported the minister to have said.
Upon assuming office, the coalition government stressed the need to have highly trained diplomats to represent Guyana at varying diplomatic postings, as having such directly affects Guyana’s image internationally.