An opening ceremony of the National consultation for Heads of Missions and Consulates was held on Monday August 15th, 2016 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Room. The Consultation was held under the theme: “Re-engineering Economic Growth and Development in the 21st century through Diplomacy.”
Prime Minister Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves said that “the main objective of the government is economic growth and development,” he added that “one of the instruments through which we could attain economic growth and development is through foreign policy and diplomacy.”
Dr. Gonsalves emphasized that in seeking economic growth there must be “a reduction of poverty and inequality, while improving the quality of lives for Vincentians; all being done through a system of good governance.”
The Prime Minister noted that the government must recognize this country’s geographical and historical context in fashioning domestic and foreign policies.
Dr. Gonsalves stressed the importance of the overseas missions, stating that although negative assertions are made by some, they are based on prejudices and not on facts.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Integration, Hon. Sir Louis Straker said that “the week of consultations is one of stock taking, strategic thinking and to recalibrate approaches in diplomatic engagements and international relations where necessary.”
Meanwhile Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nathaniel Williams highlighted that although there are financial constraints, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strives to establish excellent diplomatic relations among international counterparts with a view of deepening economic partnerships which significantly contributes to the economy’s growth.