Gov’t hammered over delay in naming foreign reps

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 February 2016, 14:44 by Denis Chabrol

People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira has taken the APNU+AFC administration to task over the perceived delay in the naming and appointment of Guyana’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners to countries with which bilateral relations are shared.

Teixeira in the National Assembly on Thursday stated that it is imperative that the Government take steps to name the persons who would be taken up posts at Guyana’s foreign missions.

She posited that the situation is “particularly” disturbing and could send the wrong signal and the administration should get its act together.

Teixeira, who is the Shadow representative on Foreign Affairs told the House that out of 13 foreign missions, only three had substantive heads.

“As soon as your government can get its act together and we get a confirmed list of who is being put forward…My concern is that we need our Ambassadors and High Commissioners to be put in place,” she stated.

Teixeira also indicated that there is some hope that the persons being considered by the government represent Guyana’s diversity.

“We hope that the persons being put forward would represent that we are a diverse country…diverse in many many ways…We need to have young people come out and represent their national with all the energy they can,” she stated.

In his response, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge stated that “when you see the list of candidates you will agree both on the diversity and quality of persons selected.”

The Minister pointed out that while there have been several reports in the media regarding these appointments, most of them are inaccurate and the persons mentioned are not being considered.

“We have found ourselves with a set of Ambassadors the bulk of whom have been in office for a considerable period of time…if you take into account that this is a country with only 13 missions – when you remove that top layer you find that there are people underneath,” said Greenidge.

Teixeira also raised concerns concerning the decrease in staff for the New York Consulate noting that the area has a high concentration of Guyanese.

The Chief Whip belabored her disappointment in the situation citing the number of persons that rely on the consulate for services.

“I agree and I don’t think anyone on this side denies the importance of New York…Whilst New York is most important it is also the mission for which they are the most complaints and most dissatisfaction,” Greenidge retorted.