BRADES, Montserrat – Montserrat is building its cadre of future diplomats and ambassadors. Last week 28 members of the public service from various government departments participated in the OECS School of Diplomacy classes organized through the Office of the Chief Minister.
The one-week intensive workshop touched on a wide range of issues including diplomatic status, immunities and privileges, international organization law, diplomatic and consular law, international relations, order of flags, seating arrangements, diplomatic correspondence, negotiations, and protocol and etiquette.
“Succeeding in the International Arena” was taught by Alga Rivera, Founder and Director of the Puerto Rico School of Protocol, and covered areas such as how to greet, outclassing the competition and the dos and don’ts of dining.
Dr. Efrain Vazquez Vera, who taught the Protocol and Diplomacy course said, “When people think about protocol, they usually think it’s about celebrities but it’s about manners.”
He suggests that the course can also be taught to high school students and teachers so that the work to develop the island’s image and global representation remains continuous. “It is about having respect for ourselves, our guests and representing Montserrat where ever you go,” he told participants.
The university professor, who is also the representative for the OECS in Puerto Rico, used entertaining anecdotes of international figures and the protocol errors that have sometimes caused international incidents.
Dr. Vazquez Vera said during the closing ceremony that he sees great potential for Montserrat and its people in the international arena. He encouraged the participants to take advantage of the opportunities as they would benefit all.
The Honourable Deputy Governor, Mrs. Sarita Francis said she “thoroughly enjoyed the week of training” and has already extended an invitation to Mrs. Rivera to teach future courses for the general public. “All of us are to be ambassadors for Montserrat in whatever area we work and wherever we find ourselves in the world.”
Caption: Julian Daniel (left) Managing Director of the Montserrat Development Corporation receives his certificate for completing the School of Diplomacy course from Deputy Governor Mrs. Sarita Francis (right) as instructor Dr. Efrain Vazquez Vera (centre) looks on.