More than three years after making a commitment to have the country’s overseas mission heads rotated regularly, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge has assured that this will be done come 2019.
“The Ambassadors and the Heads of Missions, we did give an undertaking that they will be rotated and that they will do. I didn’t intend that they would all be rotated at once and you will see in the course of this coming year that there will be rotations… We haven’t forgotten, that is to be done,” Greenidge told reporters at this Ministry’s year end press conference on Thursday.
After assuming office back in May 2015, the coalition Government had recalled all Guyana’s overseas Heads of Missions, who were appointed under the previous Administration. The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change had said that in keeping with international best practices, overseas diplomats should be on a two to four-year rotation and promised to restore this practice.
Greenidge, at the time, had pointed out that the intention behind the recall was also for politicians who are not career diplomats, but were given posts by a President, to bring their term of employment to an end, given that that President has left office.
Nevertheless, the Foreign Affairs Minister had noted that established protocol is that when a new Government takes office, the various Heads of Mission report to the new President. He said at the time, a President has to appoint those persons that he trusts, that he has faith in, and who know and understand his initiatives.
However, while the current Administration has since replaced those diplomats at its various missions overseas, this was not done without controversy.
In fact, former Guyana High Commissioner to Canada, Harry Narine Nawbatt had filed legal proceeding against Government for wrongful dismissal and was recently awarded $25 million is costs by the High Court.
Nawbatt was appointed under the PPP/Civic Government in February 2015 and was dismissed one month after the coalition Government got into office.