COVID-19: Press Conference – March 13, 2021 (PMO)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has appointed new Heads of Missions, in keeping with Government’s focus on strengthening traditional bilateral relations and pursuing new ones.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Senator, Dr. Jerome Walcott, spoke of the new appointments, during a COVID-19 update and press conference this evening.

“It has been agreed that the following new Heads of Missions will be appointed. Mr. Gline Clarke as High Commissioner to Canada; Mr. Alexander McDonald as High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Nairobi; Mr. Hallam Henry as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; Mr. Gabriel Abed as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates; and Mr. Francois Jackman as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at New York,” Minister Walcott disclosed.

He pointed out that “the qualities, experience and competencies of Messrs. Clarke, McDonald, Henry, Abed and Jackman render each of them ideal choices for their respective diplomatic appointments, as Head of Mission at this critical juncture in Barbados’ socio-economic transformation and development”.

A brief on each new mission head was shared, highlighting their work experiences, and Minister Walcott explained that in preparation for their new roles, an extensive comprehensive orientation process for the new envoys had been conducted.

“This has been ongoing for the past four weeks, not only within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, … they are having sessions with various departments of governments, the BIDC, Invest Barbados [and] various ministries,” the Minister said.

He also highlighted that the Ministry was moving to further diversify the different ways in which Barbados represents and promotes its interests overseas, and last Thursday, Cabinet approved the appointments of Mr. Phil Phillips as Commercial and Cultural Attaché, who would be stationed in the Barbados High Commission in Accra, Ghana, and Ms. Everil Lewis as a Diaspora Relations Officer, this post would be incorporated into the staff complement at the Barbados High Commission to the United Kingdom in London.

He said in an effort to strengthen the international frameworks dealing with the climate crisis, financing for development and small island developing states’ issues, former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations, Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson, would now be based in Bridgetown with special responsibility for matters of climate change, SIDS issues and the Law of the Sea.

Minister Walcott stressed that Government would “continue to focus on the deepening and strengthening” of its existing bilateral relationships with the Caribbean, Latin America, North America and Europe, as well as developing new non-traditional partners in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Gulf States, and Central and South America. 

“The opening of new missions and the extension of non-resident accreditations into new regions and countries will assist tremendously in this undertaking,” he said.

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