Opposition coalition APNU has said it is committed to rebuilding the professionalism of the Foreign Service, which it says the PPP/C has made impotent.
“…The Guyana Foreign Service is in tatters,” APNU said in a statement on Thursday. “[It] has nosedived into irrelevance and mediocrity and has become a laughing stock,” it added. The opposition group, which comprises the main opposition PNCR, the WPA, GAP, NFA, GPP, the GNC and GALA, noted that when the PPP entered office in 1992, it inherited a Foreign Service that was second to none in the Caribbean. Guyanese Foreign Service Officers, it observed, were well trained and rated among the most astute in the world of diplomacy. Further, it said the skills of a distinguished cadre of Guyanese diplomats not only provided a protective shield around Guyana that was under threat from hostile neighbours but advanced the progressive agenda of the Non-Aligned Movement, strengthening the forces working for Namibian independence, the defeat of apartheid, and the decolonisation agenda of the United Nations. “Among them were such sons and daughters of the soil as Luckhoo, Ramphal, Jackson, Sahadeo, Insanally, Singh, Grant, Pilgrim, Joseph, Chan, Miles, Sinclair, and Mbozi, a true face of all of Guyana,” it added.
However, APNU argued that the calibre of the country’s diplomatic representation has never been more lamentable than it is presently. It also pointed to recent testimony by Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon, who admitted that he was unaware of the criteria for the selection of Guyana’s diplomatic representatives.
“Whatever the criteria might be, competence, training, experience, and intellectual capacity are clearly not among them. Diplomatic postings have been reduced to plums for the party faithful and, in a few cases, refuge for undesirables,” APNU said.
The opposition grouping pledged to rebuild and recapture the professionalism for which the Guyana Foreign Service was well known. It said it would do so by reaching out and embracing critical Guyanese talent at home and in the far flung corners of the world, regardless of their ethnicity, creed or political affiliation.