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Thursday 15 November 2018
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Donna Carter tipped to become High Commissioner in South AFrica

Former Minister Donna Carter is tipped to become High Commissioner of a new South African mission, sources said.

Carter was Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Ecclesiastical Affairs. A former teacher, Carter, a long-standing member of the PNM, was an unsuccessful candidate in the St Joseph constituency in the 2000 election. In an interview last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Knowlson Gift said one of the handicaps the PNM faced when it was returned to office, was the fact that a lot of the major embassies remained unmanned at the head of mission level for an inordinate amount of time. He said this government first priority was to make sure it attended to this. Saying that the effectiveness of the overseas representation has a direct bearing “on whom you assign there to represent your interest”, Gift stated the government was able to call on the “in house” expertise of career diplomats to assign them in missions like Geneva, Washington and Brussels.

Noting that Government was still conducting this exercise, Gift  said Government would try to complete the postings or to establish new missions in furtherance of the nation’s business. “We are hopeful that by the end of the year, certainly by the third quarter , we should be in a position to have all our missions adequately staffed, both at the level of the heads as well as supporting staff,” he said. Stating that the conduct and execution of foreign policy was  an extension of Government’s domestic policy, Gift said missions must be ready to respond to the demands that the policies at home make on them. The Minister said some of the major issues engaging government’s attention were areas such as the ICC. It had to meet deadlines for the ratification of the Rome Treaty, nomination of a candidate for the first bench of the ICC, he said. It also had representation on the International Seabed Authority- where the late Lennox Ballah was elected a judge- and was also  able to secure a position at the level of Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation Bank, he said.

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