Grenada will, for the first time, have two ambassadors at the United Nations if the application recommending Derrick James to become Grenada Ambassador for Humanitarian Affairs and the Diaspora, is accepted by Office of the UN Secretary General.
Foreign Affairs and International Business Minister, Nickolas Steele has confirmed that the Government of Grenada is awaiting correspondence from the United Nations with regards to the nomination of James, who is presently nominated to be Grenada’s honorary Consul General in New York. That nomination is yet to be approved by the State Department, though government made the announcement shortly after taking up office following the 19 February 2013 General Elections.
Steele said that if he is accepted by the United Nations to be the ambassador, the post of Hon Consul General will remain vacant, as the position will not be filled in a hurry.
Denis Antoine, who once held the position of Grenada’s Ambassador to the United States of America, is currently Grenada’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and carries the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. This will make him the immediate supervisor of James.
Steele said that though Ambassadors Antoine and James will be using the same office space if James is accepted by the UN, their duties will not clash. “They will be engaging in separate duties. At the UN they will be focusing on different issues for and on behalf of the country.”
According to information out of the United Nations Public Information Department, it is not unusual for a country to appoint various persons to carry the post of Ambassador. It is a way of ensuring the country has representation on the various UN subsidiary bodies, agencies, committees and or affiliated organisations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
James’ position as ambassador is a rank within the UN systems that carries little or no diplomatic status, and is more or less recognised as a senior staff member at a Permanent Mission. Ambassadors at that rank should not carry the ‘Her’ or ‘His Excellency’ title before his or her name, the title afforded to an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
By Linda Straker