Georgetown appoints Consul General for Barbados & Ambassador to Suriname

Guyana revealed several key diplomatic appointments including a Consul General to Barbados and a new Ambassador to Suriname, but Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said the new faces had nothing to with racial-balancing.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have never looked at it in that way. Like I said, the officers – all of them in this ministry – have served with distinction and I have never separated them by the texture of their hair or the colour of their skin,” she told a news conference.

The appointment of a virtually all-East Indian corps of diplomats had emerged late last year during the libel case brought by Bharrat Jagdeo against newspaper columnist, Freddie Kissoon who had accused him of being an ideological racist.

Rodrigues-Birkett explained that the new appointments reflected a process that began two years ago when they had been appointed Senior Foreign Service Officers.

Thursday’s announcement saw the naming of career diplomats to key promotions. They are Michael Brotherson as Consul General to Barbados, Keith George as Ambassador to Suriname, George Talbot as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Audrey Jardine-Waddell as Ambassador to the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the confirmation of Sattie Sawh as Consul General in Toronto. Esther Griffith has been appointed Chief of Protocol at the Foreign Ministry.

Keith George | Guyana's Ambassador for Suriname

The Foreign Minister credited George with playing a major role, as Director of Frontiers, in addressing the Guyana-Suriname maritime boundary dispute, the crafting of the Maritime Zones Act and the request by Guyana to the United Nations for the extension of the continental shelf.

He was very instrumental in the efforts aimed at protecting the territorial integrity of Guyana and ensuring that Guyana enjoys its rights and meets its obligations with respect to its maritime spaces,” she said.

Brotherson’s appointment marks the upgrade of the position in Barbados from Honorary Consul to Consul General. And according the minister, he would oversee honorary consuls in other Caribbean countries and address consular and trade matters in Barbados.

We are hoping, too, that the officer who would be placed there would look at other issues like trade matters as well. We might be able to increase our trade with Barbados if we have someone there to provide information at hand, meeting with the business community so we think it augurs well,” he said.

Brotherson has served the Foreign Ministry for the past 20 years during which he was Caricom Desk Officer, Head of the Information Unit and served in London before returning recently to work in the Office of Climate Change of the Office of the President.

Since the death of Honorary Consul, Norman Faria in May 2010, Guyana has been sending immigration officers periodically to Barbados to deal with the application and renewal of passports.

Government also announced that more than 30 Honorary Consuls would soon be appointed, marking an increase by 10 to the number of this category of persons.

Plans are also in train to have a number of Guyana’s more than 20 missions to be accredited to countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East as part of a cost-saving measure.

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