Nassau, The Bahamas – Overseas heads of missions came together for the sixth Heads of Mission meeting Monday (December 22, 2008) at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, West Bay Street.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ team of diplomats within the international community includes the Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Cornelius A. Smith; the High Commissioner to the Court of St. James, His Excellency Paul Farquharson; the High Commissioner to Ottawa, His Excellency Michael Smith; the Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Her Excellency Elma Campbell; two Consuls-General, Mrs. Gladys Sands to Miami and Mr. Carl Smith to New York; recently appointed Ambassador to Cuba and former Director of Immigration Mr. Vernon Burrows and Ambassador to Haiti and non-resident Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and former Commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Mr. Davey Rolle.

In addition to making opening comments at the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Brent Symonette said the meeting included remarks by Dr. Patricia Rodgers, Permanent Secretary on the reorganisation of the Ministry.


“We hope the reorganisation will streamline the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and help eliminate some of the problems that our officers overseas have,” he said.


The Deputy Prime Minister explained that each of the Heads of Missions presented reports on the current status in their respective countries on matters including personnel, housing and accounting problems and issues related to living overseas.


According to Minister Symonette, the meeting’s agenda also included a talk by Joshua Sears, Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Mr. Sears talked about the whole question of foreign policy including where we are going, the Economic Partnership Agreement, the development of Haiti, Cuba as it evolves, the new President of the United States, etc.” said the Deputy Prime Minister.


Additionally, section heads gave reports on budgets, maintaining physical discipline, e-passport system, issuing of visas, treaties, deployment of staff and training.


Former Undersecretary Nicole Campbell also provided a power point presentation on career paths in the Foreign Service.


Minister Symonette described the day’s agenda as a “full” one and said it is hoped that it will become an annual event.