The services of several Guyanese Ambassadors and High Commissioners whose contracts have not been renewed, may not be required for any other service at the Foreign Ministry.
Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge was asked about the issue today at the weekly press conference of the People’s National Congress Reform.
With many of the Ambassadors being political appointees, it is unlikely that they’ll be asked to stay on with the foreign service in any other capacity.
“…simply because they will no longer be staff at the Ministry. Some of them work on contracts. I can’t recall any of them are engaged in anything apart from the contracts. Unless they are offered something by the ministry they can be expected to find other jobs,” he told the press on Friday.
On Thursday, President Granger said it is his preference for Foreign Missions to be headed by career diplomats and not political appointees and he is moving in that direction.
The President said his intention has always been that the appointment of persons who did not come through the Foreign Service should be reduced and work should be done to professionalize it.
But today, Greenidge confirmed that there is a lack of those skillsets within the Ministry.
“We are really referring to the acute shortage not so much at supporting admin skills but in the arena that constitutes the heart of diplomatic work or diplomacy. And this will be in strategic issues, political science, economics, international law, environmental sciences, and a variety of these technical areas.”
The Foreign Secretary noted that the persons could get an understanding of what is missing at the Ministry by looking for example at the issues which are debated at the United Nations, and other issues that arise at other groupings such as the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), among others.
“It is a range of skills and the point I have been making for a long time is that the intake of skills into the Ministry as governed by the work of the Public Service Commission, and the Public Service Ministry is overwhelmingly simply with people with degrees in international relations.”
President Granger has said he wants a more professional foreign service.