An Age of Development Diplomacy

Submitted by Caleb Pilgrim

I read with interest Kemar Stuart’s (Young Democrats) recent intervention on Barbadian foreign policy – Foreign Policy in Barbados and CARICOM [Link inserted by the Blogmaster]. It helps if it causes us to re-think and re-examine our foreign policy, as necessary. Who was it that said that the unexamined life is not worth living?

Let me confess an interest at the outset. I was once, decades ago, a Temporary Foreign Service Officer II in the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At some point, I was posted abroad to the Barbados High Commission (U.K), as a Temporary Foreign Service Officer II, subject to dismissal on one (1) day’s notice. Shortly thereafter, I left the Foreign Service. Beyond that, I know little or nothing about Barbados’s foreign and international policy.

I know this, however. Back in 1976, the then newly elected BLP Adams’ Administration, per its electoral Manifesto, had expressed concerns that Barbados, in terms of cost/benefit analysis, gained little from its OAS membership. (Read the Manifesto and its section on External Affairs. Even now, it makes interesting reading). It thus fell to some one of us, Temporary Foreign Service Officer II, to undertake such a c/b analysis.

This leads to the crux of my argument, which is, that limited resources must always reasonably compel proper management of a state’s foreign policy.

Developing countries cannot afford to treat diplomacy, and diplomatic postings/representatives abroad as a mere “sinecure”. This approach is foolishly ignorant, if not downright dangerous, especially in the international context. It is like the proverbial monkey playing with a loaded revolver/glock

As I see it, in a highly inter-dependent world, and in international fora, the Barbados representative should not therefore be a simple minded buffoon, a jester who crawls the cocktail circuit, posturing and pretending, eating excellent “horses douvers”, drinking the finest liqueurs, attending Ascot and Wimbledon, and/or selling booze on the side sufficient to retire the national debt or a significant part thereof. Or, as a late colleague once related, unwise delegate(s) at a Women’s Conference (probably in Copenhagen), dispensing fabulous fishcakes as delicious Bajan delicacies, while Palestinian women activists and other women delegates were fighting energetically for their particular cause or debating unimportant issues such as Women and Development, Women and Health Care, Women and Education.

Note that fortunately there have been exceptions such as a former Barbados Ambassador to the USA and the OAS, excellent, knowledgeable, serious and incisive. Yet again, Sir Henry Forde, a wise, diligent and highly intelligent Foreign Minister, who among other things invariably pushed for training for Barbadians as well as jobs for Barbadians in international organizations. Again, I still recall meeting a Timorese official at The Hague Academy of Public International Law, by sheer serendipity. He had been present when Dr. Don Blackman delivered his maiden speech at the UNGA and was highly impressed. In a nutshell, his position was that Dr. Blackman “did Barbados proud”.

Even today the threat to Barbadians who remain “illegal” aliens in the USA remains an important issue, as it was per the BLP 1976 Manifesto. Is there not a consular duty, under Public International Law to legally protect one’s nationals, or do we simply throw any such less fortunate to the wolves?

As I see it, therefore, in an Age of Development Diplomacy, based on the Estimates and stringent financial requirements, the Barbados representative must produce in actual, substantive, measurable terms; what are the metrics? How many scholarships did s/he negotiate with universities and colleges in the host country; how much technology transfer(s); on what specific terms; how many preferential loans; trade agreements; what technical assistance; what assistance re agriculture and infrastructure, etc, etc?

How much aid, for example, did Barbados ever get from Austria, Switzerland etc, over the years, assuming we have diplomatic relations with such states?

Some will have decried Mr. Barrow’s allegedly robust treatment of the late Ronald Reagan in an encounter decades ago. However, one should also remember Reagan’s call to Nixon, circa 1971, wherein he described African diplomats at the UN as “monkeys”. (I once did a Master’s thesis essay on African States and the UN. Any one of my erstwhile African fellow students was intellectually far superior to “Great Communicator”. Ditto Trump and his abuse of “s-hole” African and black countries). It remains a dangerous world.

225 thoughts on “An Age of Development Diplomacy

  1. @ Hal Austin

    They are some unspoken Xmas practices among those who are known to the courts. The magistrate may be quite aware of them. I am aware of them. There are some persons who prefer to spend the Xmas season at Dodds. They engage in activities hopimg they would be remanded to Dodds. These are the facts of life. I am not an armchair social commentator.From their perspective life is harder outside of Dodds.

  2. @ Hal
    Our welfare services are not as sophisticated and efficient as those in the UK. The usual excuse is lack of money.

  3. @ Vincent

    It is not just a Barbados t’ing. In Japan the elderly are now committing crimes to go to prison and in the UK this has been happening for years. Four meals a day, a regular change of clothing, warmth, health care, friendship, it is far better than being on the streets.
    But courts are not there to speculate on social deprivation; they are there to deal with the alleged offences. If they suspect there may be more to the offences than what is said in evidence, then they call in other specialist authorities ie welfare.
    I am getting ready for Midnight Mass.
    Happy Xmas.

  4. I am more concerned about the spectacle being made, big newspaper article for a man who stole a damn salt bread, how does that even seem normal to some of you…i assure you it is assinine…when there are bigger thefts on the island to highlight…thefts that have rendered the people helpless and put this current for a want of a better word government on a borrowing spree complete with million dollar consultants…but no, let’s bullshit all day about a stolen salt bread and big headlines in the newspapers.

    lawd me gawd:

    “December 9 at 8:22 PM
    On December 7th Mia Mottley , prime minister of the Caribbean island of Barbados posted on her FB page: “CARICOM now has a Diplomatic Office in Kenya! Earlier today this Office was handed over to CARICOM by the Government of Kenya. We will use this Office to unlock the possibilities of trade and investment between CARICOM and Kenya.
    Now people in the Caribbean may be asleep at the wheel but I am woke. The current Secretary-General of CARICOM is Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. The secretariat headquarters is located in Georgetown, Guyana. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an organisation of fifteenCaribbean nations and dependencies having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. So how did Mia got that right to open a diplomatic office in Kenya without the presence of the CARICOM secretary general? Kenya is a country in East Africa. According to AlJazeera reports, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, has recently been hit with 30 charges of money laundering. He has received bribes and Chief public prosecutor Noordin Haji has accused Sonko, who was arrested on Friday, and his associates of the misappropriation of 357 million Kenyan shillings ($3.5m).
    So how does the prime minister of Barbados intend to use this CARICOM office in Nairobi Kenya to unlock the possibilities of trade and investments between CARICOM and Kenya? Is the Barbadian prime minister leading her country and the Caribbean down the dangerous path of money laundering and corruption similar to the activities of Mr. Skerrit in Malaysia? Will this CARICOM office be a money laundering gateway to channel money into the Caribbean to support the defunct dictatorship in Venezuela?”

  5. @ Commander Theophillus Gazerts

    I wrote an article and submitted it here to Barbados Underground BUT DE MINISTER OF DISINFORMATION WAS TOLD to block de ole man AND ALL PROMOTIONS OF THE PEOPLE’S PARTY FOR DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT

    Here is what de ole man wrote


    A BU blogger posted this recently (I think it was Commander Theophillus Gazerts) shortly after it was rumoured that Senator Caswell Franklyn had been held up at Gunpoint!

    He said, and I quote…

    “..Saw a story about a Caswell incident. I do not see i repeated anywhere so i doubt its veracity.

    However, you all have to be careful when promoting Caswell.

    Too much promotion and he will get attention and you will be here trying to figure out if it was a robbery/warning

    what is bracketed here are de ole man’s insertions but I think I MUST GO THIS ROUTE BECAUSE not writing it WILL GIVE THE ORCHESTRATORS OF THIS ACT who know where Caswell Franklyn goes BECAUSE OF HIS CELLPHONE’s geolocation of his whereabouts, A WARNING!

    To kill any politician in Barbados IS TO BRING BARBADOS INTO AN ERA OF ECONOMIC DECAY, and, no sitting government will recover from its ECONOMIC DOWNFALL!

    Among the many things that are known to the ole man is that It is absolutely true that you fear de ole man keeping the hope of Alternative Non Dictatorship Rule alive and up in bajans faces.

    Here are some more things you fear with the ole man stating publicly that

    Fact 1. Reverend Joseph Atherley IS A MIA MOTTLEY PLANT!

    Fact 2. If her was not a plant, KNOWING THAT HE WILL BE VOTED OUT IN 2021, he will cede his Leader of the Opposition post to Caswell as the new Leader of the PdP

    Fact # 3. IF HE TRULY WANTED TO PROMOTE HIS PDP PARTY he would immediately start campaigning against Mia Mottley IN HER ST MICHAEL NORTH EAST CONSTITUENCY

    FACT #4. The sincerity and the political currency of Senator Caswell Franklyn is feared SO ALL THESE TERRORIST TACTICS OF GUN IN HIS FACE & ROBBERY will be brought to bear on the PdP BECAUSE MUGABE HAS SEEN “THE DREAM”

  6. Slowly but surely the Honourable Blogmaster is showing that he no longer supports George Linnaeus Banks but he is licking Mugabe Mottley ‘s…

  7. Wuhloss…drama

    very nice to see though that the same archaic laws they refused to move off the statute books that foolish Fruendel said was quite adequate to deal with corruption since it never dealt with corruption before and never will, is the same law now got Donville tied up..

    “In fact, contrary to reports carried in another section of the media, in a 71-page ruling on Friday by United States District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, it was determined that the details carried in the email between Khan and Innes were protected by client-lawyer privilege and could not be introduced into the case against Inniss. Indeed, Matsumoto made it abundantly clear that the information in the possession of the prosecution should be destroyed.

    At the conclusion of its deliberations, the court ruled in favour of the government with respect to motions 1, 2, 3 and 4. However, the defence had originally conceded motion 1, had shown no indication of raising motion 2 and thus took no position on it. With respect to motion 3, defence counsel indicated it was not aware that bribery was a common practice or custom in Barbados and therefore the defence did not intend to make such an argument.

    The court denied parts of motion 5, with respect to the government’s request that the court preclude evidence of any personal or background information concerning Inniss. However, it allowed part of the same motion related to government’s request to preclude evidence or argument concerning the potential punishment or consequences Inniss faced if convicted. The court granted motion 6 with respect to Inniss’ alleged indebtedness. The court also allowed the prosecution’s eighth motion.”

  8. Readers will note well that EVEN THOUGH THE HONOURABLE BLOGMASTER PRETENDED TO BE SENATOR CASWELL FRANKLYN’ s friend here on Barbados Underground and given him space to post blogs DE SENATOR GOT ROBBED AT GUNPOINT, and this Patriot & Honourable Blogmaster ENT EVEN PUT UP ONE ARTICLE ABOUT CASWELL FRANKLYN!

    I hope wunna seeing the “pattern”

    He gives Grenville Phillips aka Bedroom Policeman aka Iso TALIBAN 5 articles pun BU a week YET HE CANT PUT ONE UP ABOUT Senator Caswell Franklyn being robbed AT GUNPOINT!

  9. When banks are giving low single digits interest rates or even a fraction of one percentage point and someone offers you double digits, please know that there is a degree of risk involved, or even worse, fraud.

  10. David BU

    I can only refer to my experiences as it relates to the 11+, since this discussion about the examination relates to an era before I was born. However, I’m seeing conflicting “stories” here.

    You provided a link from UWI, which I don’t believe would disseminate information on its website that is questionable or from sources that are not credible. Would engaging in such an activity not tarnish the university’s reputation?

    A reference was made to “Ministry of Education must have files, including internal reports.” If one looks at the end of Levisha Josiah’s paper, included in her list of references are reports from the Ministry of Education as well:

    (1). Barbados, Ministry of Education. Report of the Department of Education . Bridgetown : Government Printing Office, 1958-1959.

    (2). Report of the Ministry of Education Barbados 1976-1977. Bridgetown: Government Printing Office, 1976-1977.

    (3). Niles, Betram. Ministry must act fast to abolish exam. Bridgetown: The Advocate, 17 May 1979. Newspaper.

    (4). Petter, G.S.V. Report of a survey of secondary education in Barbados . Bridgetown , 1956.

    Are we questioning the authenticity or accuracy of Levisha Josiah’s paper, although it includes information from MoE reports?

    Perhaps you should have a separate blog for this discussion.

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