June 5, 2015
SVG expanding diplomatic reach in international community

In an attempt to expand its diplomatic reach within the international community, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has signed new diplomatic relationships and accredited overseas ambassadors as non-resident ambassadors {{more}}to other countries.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Camillo Gonsalves announced this last Friday at a media briefing.

Her Excellency I Rhonda King, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations, has formalized diplomatic relations with Brunei Darussalam – a small state in South-East Asia near Malaysia.

Gonsalves described Brunei as having “a lot to offer” in terms of its own development.

“They have one of the largest GDPs per capita in that area. They have a great deal of hydrocarbon wealth and technological expertise. We hope that we will be able to leverage our new relationship with Brunei to the benefit of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

In addition to this, the High Commissioner to the UK HE Cenio Lewis is now the non-resident representative to Finland and Ireland, having already presented credentials to those two governments, and Ambassador to Venezuela HE Andreas Wickham has similarly presented credentials to Argentina and Chile.

“We are trying to expand our reach within our constraints financially.”

Gonsalves added that Ambassador Wickham is was also recently appointed as the non-resident representative for Brazil.

“Argentina, in particular, is very eager to commence some cooperation projects with St Vincent and the Grenadines, and I hope that we will be able to do that.”

Additionally, Gonsalves spoke of the efforts of Consul General Fitzgerald Huggins, who has been doing a “great deal of work” with the Toronto (Canada) diaspora.

“His most recent bit of work involves a 40-foot container of medical supplies and firefighting gear… [at] a value of… EC$150,000.”

The contents of the container include 18 hospital beds (with mattresses), two stretchers, a large quantity of sheets, towels and bed linen, surgical equipment, 75 firefighting suits – inclusive of jackets, pants, boots and hard hats – and training equipment for firefighters.

He pointed out that the local Fire Department does not require all 75 firefighting suits, so the Government has contacted two neighbouring OECS countries to pass the remainder on to.

“The donors were essentially the Canadian diaspora community, various friends of St Vincent and the Grenadines that have been cultivated by Consul General Huggins, the staff of the Headwaters Health Care Centre… Ken Howe and Carl Egerman, who were involved in the procuring and donating of the firefighting equipment.”

Gonsalves also noted that some sporting equipment was donated as well, including a high jumping mattress and table tennis board and other equipment.

He also expressed his gratitude to Stephen Joachim of the Mustique Company Ltd, who has offered to pay the freight cost of the container coming from Toronto.

“This is the third container that they have paid for coming from Toronto over recent years.”