Despite agitation in some quarters in New York, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves says ex-New York Consul General Selmon Walters was not singled out for recall.
“It’s what we’re trying to make sure that we have fresh faces everywhere,” said Dr. Gonsalves in an exclusive interview Tuesday morning. “These are people [diplomats], who have been around in excess of four to five years. The position of ambassador, in some countries, does not exceed five years. We want to ensure that we have fresh faces.”
Gonsalves also noted that the current Consul General to Canada, Fitzgerald Huggins, succeeded E. Bernard John, and that I. Rhonda King, the ambassador to the United Nations, took over from Camillo Gonsalves, who became foreign affairs minister and was elected, for the first time, in general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines last December.
“Now, it’s time for Selmon (Walters) to go,” the Vincentian leader said. “It’s not a commentary on any particular individual.”
Gonsalves said his Unity Labor Party (ULP) administration has “found a good replacement” in Howie Prince, the former head of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).
“Howie Prince knows how to work with people,” he said. “It’s difficult to find a person to work with the community.
The prime minister also confirmed that his administration will be appointing a new trade attaché.
Sir Louis had said last month that Bernadette Ambrose-Black, current head of SVG Invest, will take up that new position.
Gonsalves said Ambrose-Black, who will be based at the New York Consulate General, will be under the direction of former Chief Education Officer Lou-Ann Gilchrist, who will replace Prince.
“We have to put someone where it will be optimal [for investment and trade coordination],” he said, disclosing that Ambrose-Black’s contract with SVG Invest “has come to an end,” and that “it was decided to have [continue to use] her skills.”
The prime minister said New York is the hub for trade and investment activities, adding that there are several trade opportunities could be explored among global diplomats at the United Nations.
FIRST PUBLISHED CARIBBEAN LIFE NELSON KING