Guyana’s honorary consuls are unpaid- Minister Greenidge clarifies

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Second Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge has sought to set the record straight regarding Guyana’s handling of its Honorary Consuls in various countries. The minister stated that the volunteers are not employed by the government.

Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge addressing members of the media today.

Minister Greenidge was making reference to an article in the local media that reported the Honorary Consul in Miami, Ramzan Roshanali, was allegedly being criticized by Guyanese in North America for inefficient service. However, Minister Greenidge explained that the post of honorary consul is ‘voluntary’ which means the officer is providing service based on the availability of their time.

“The honorary consul is characterised by the following, they are unpaid as regards their labour, they are unpaid,” the minister disclosed at a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

Minister Greenidge said the situation is not peculiar to Guyana or any other developing country. In instances where a government is unable to establish offices of consul generals in countries where their nationals reside or for which it wishes to have relations, it retains the services of prominent individuals to function as Honorary Consul.

Guyana, he said, has some 29 Honorary Consuls who are paid an honorarium or stipend of US$500 per month.

“Because we try to ensure that the expenses they incur are minimised, they are chosen because they have the capacity to save us money. You choose either a businessman or you choose a professional. We don’t pay those people, what we do is give them an honorarium. that covers the expenses they incur, it is not a cost for their labour they provide,” the Minister explained.

He reiterated that the stipend is a nominal amount which does not even reach a tenth of the what Ambassadors “employees of the government,” are receiving.

By: Alexis Rodney

 

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