(SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, has reminded diplomats representing the federation that while their key duty is to promote their country’s national interest internationally, it has to be done in an adaptable manner.
He said this at the April 05 opening of Diplomatic Week at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
“I say to you, that while the substance of diplomacy is essentially the same … the changing dynamics of international relations, the explosion and diversity of actors and factors impacting on diplomacy requires the nurturing and development of the diplomat who understands not only the needs of his or her country but who also has an acute awareness and understanding of what is happening around them,” Prime Minister Harris said. “That diplomat must be able to think on his or her feet; to do proper analyses; to communicate effectively and to understand our partners, their goals, expectations and needs. This diplomat will be someone who knows how to access and use the tools available to extract optimal benefit for his or her country while constantly honing the complement of requisite skills-sets to meet the growing and evolving challenges and opportunities they will inevitably face.”
Honorary consuls were also appraised of their obligations to the federation, which the prime minister said would now involve a new type of interaction and partnership with the Government, through the various ministries.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the consular corps, like that of our diplomats, your work is invaluable,” he said. “But to maximise your access and presence where we do not have a physical diplomatic presence, it is critically important for our ministries to ensure that your work is better informed by the national priorities, more closely scrutinised and evaluated, to make sure that your efforts build strategically on and compliment the work of our diplomats.”
Prime Minister Harris encouraged the representatives at the consulates to be proactive.
“I want to encourage you and our diplomats to think differently,” Prime Minister Harris noted, urging the honorary consuls not to be inactive because responses take more time than expected to come in. “In leadership, we do not have the luxury of blaming our non-action on perceived obstacles or non-responsiveness. It is our responsibility to find solutions to problems and to circumvent obstacles to do the people’s work.”