Foreign Ministry takes technological leap

Stabroek News
May 24, 2000

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has arrived at the threshold of the cutting edge of technology with the opening of its Computer Lab and Learning Resource Centre on Monday afternoon.

The centre, which is located in the ministry's Takuba Lodge headquarters and will be linked to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), will enable local diplomats to keep pace with developments around the world.

Delivering the feature address at the centre's launching, Foreign Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee, told the gathering which included diplomats accredited to this country, that the ministry was now being propelled into the digital age.

This, he stated, was one of three revolutionary objectives that the ministry had set itself when he began his tenure as minister in October 1992. Another objective was the opening of the FSI, from which the first batch of trainee diplomats will graduate shortly. The other, which he said was on stream for completion, was the setting up of a modern, state-of-the-art documentation unit specially dedicated to compiling material pertaining to the country's national frontiers.

The afternoon launching, which was chaired by Director of the FSI, Lloyd Searwar, also heard from Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Guyana, Wu Zhenglong who welcomed the strides being made by the ministry to upgrade its diplomats. China, Wu said, was happy to be able to assist in the venture since the two countries shared similar views on many international issues.

Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Richard Olver, viewed the development as one which helped in building the ministry's capacity to venture onto the information superhighway.

The vision, he posited, was for the foreign ministry to seek to build strong links with its sister Caribbean countries and others far beyond to develop a knowledge network. The UNDP, Olver stated, was prepared to assist in the continuing capacity building efforts of the ministry.

Searwar alluded to the fact that the country lacked a multiplicity of overseas missions, and thus relied much on foreign newspapers and other literature. The access to the internet, he said, would improve its capacity to keep abreast with current events.