By Admin. Updated 6:00 a.m., Thursday, February 2, 2023, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs – Dr. Douglas Slater has been selected to lead the coordinating CELAC Secretariat here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced Wednesday on NBC radio.
This country was unanimously elected as president pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on January 24, 2023, in Buenos Aires, Argentina during CELAC’s 7th Heads of State and Government Summit.
Since then, this country’s government has been making preparations to establish a local secretariat, and this is what Dr. Slater is poised to lead.
According to Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves, Dr. Slater will be assisted by this country’s former ambassador to Venezuela Mr. Andreas Wickham who will serve as the Deputy Director of the secretariat.
Mr. Wickham was part of this country’s delegation to the recently held CELAC Summit.
“We have offices being put together for that purpose,” the prime minister said.
He said the local CELAC secretariat will be housed at a building in Frenches in Kingstown. The building is being rented by the government to house the Higher Education Unit and the Accreditation Unit, “and we will have enough space for the secretariat,” the prime minister said.
“We were renting the whole building in any event, so there is no additional cost, in that sense,” he added.
Dr. Slater served as Assistant Secretary General in charge of Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat from October 1, 2013.
In July 2022, at the 43rd Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community – CARICOM, “Heads of Government paid tribute to Dr Douglas Slater the retiring Assistant Secretary-General Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat and thanked him for his service to the Region,” CARICOM Today reported.
He was also Minister of Health and the Parliamentary Representative for South Leeward from 2001 to 2010.
He was appointed Government Senator, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Consumer Affairs in 2010.
Mr. Andreas Wickham served as this country’s Ambassador to the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela from the 19th September 2012 to May 2022.
He was succeeded by Ambassador Gareth Bynoe.