Guyana appoints new diplomats to Brazil, Switzerland & Belgium

Guyana’s Ambassador to Belgium and Representative to the EU, Sasenarine Singh

The Guyana Government has filled some top diplomatic postings in several countries, including neighbouring Brazil, and has bolstered its representation at various international bodies.
In a statement on Friday, the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry announced three new diplomatic appointments. These are as follows: Professor Compton Bourne has been named Ambassador-designate to Brazil.
Professor Bourne is a former President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and has held senior positions in several regional and local institutions. This Guyanese official is also recipient of several regional awards, as well as the Order of Excellence – Guyana’s highest national award. Professor Bourne is author/editor of 10 books and more than 50 scholarly papers, along with over 50 research reports for Caribbean governments, foreign governments and international institutions.

Guyana’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Brazil, Professor Compton Bourne

On Thursday, the Brazilian Government announced that it has approved Professor Bourne’s appointment as Guyana’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Brazil.
Dr Leslie Ramsammy has been appointed to serve as Guyana’s Ambassador-designate to Switzerland.
Dr Ramsammy, a former Health Minister who is currently serving as Advisor to the Minister of Health, will also assume responsibilities as Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
And Sasenarine Singh, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), has been appointed Ambassador-designate to the Kingdom of Belgium. He will also be appointed as Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).
It previously was reported that former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Paul Cheong, would replace Singh at the helm of GuySuCo.
According to the Foreign Ministry in Friday’s missive, these newly appointed diplomats will be taking up their positions shortly.

Guyana’s Ambassador to Switzerland and the UN Representative in Geneva, Dr Leslie Ramsammy

The Guyana Government has been placing much emphasis on strengthening its foreign policy, which includes filling the various diplomatic posts at overseas missions. Only earlier this week, Guyana’s Ambassador to China, Anyin Choo, was accredited as the Non-Resident High Commissioner of Guyana to Singapore. Ambassador Choo presented her Letters of Credence to Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam at Singapore’s Istana Presidential Palace on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in February, former CEO of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Dr Richard Van West-Charles, was accredited as Guyana’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Venezuela.
Dr. Richard Van West-Charles presented his credentials to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on February 20 at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas.
However, despite these new appointments, there are still diplomatic vacancies at some missions, such as the High Commission in India, which has been without a diplomat for nearly two years.
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd had previously told <<Guyana Times>> that Government had already shortlisted several “suitable individuals who perform at very high standards for us” to fill the New Delhi office.
This post became vacant in October 2022 after Guyana’s then High Commissioner to India, Charrandas Persaud, was recalled following the circulation of a video which showed him verbally abusing a woman outside his official residence in New Delhi.
While an investigation by Indian authorities found no evidence of misconduct during the August 2021 incident, which only came to light in 2022, President Dr Irfaan Ali, emphasising the importance of representatives of Guyana conducting themselves in the highest regard, had said it was in the “best interest” that Persaud return home.
Meanwhile, as part of efforts to strengthen its international relations, Guyana opened its embassy in Qatar last May – a move which President Ali has said would help the two countries to enhance their bilateral ties.
On the other hand, countries are also looking to establish their footprint in Georgetown, where massive economic activities are being undertaken. Already, the Dominican Republic has set up an Embassy in Georgetown, and a resident Ambassador, Ernesto Torres Pereyra, was accredited in May 2023.

Guatemala is also on record to establish a diplomatic office in Guyana later this year – its first within the Caribbean Community (Caricom); while Colombia is also preparing to re-establish its Embassy in Georgetown.
In addition, France is also seeking to strengthen its presence in Guyana, and is slated to open a diplomatic office here next year – the first European Union member to do so.
During a live broadcast last July on efforts being undertaken to foster bilateral relations and position Guyana as a global leader, President Ali, who is currently serving as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), indicated that the Government has to ensure that all of its Foreign Missions are adequately staffed, so they can better position the country on the global stage.
“Our foreign policy and our foreign engagement have never ever been so active,” the Head of State had noted, while adding, “There is absolutely no hesitation from this President and this Government in ensuring that the brand ‘Guyana’ gets the best possible value on the global stage. This comes not only by travelling, but by investing time, by reading, by analysing, by having a technical team of people working round-the-clock to support what you want to achieve…”
Already, Guyana’s strong global engagement is reflected in the fact that the country is being called upon more frequently to represent on the world stage.
In January, Guyana commenced its tenure as one of five countries elected as non-permanent members for the term 2024-2025 at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – an organ of the United Nations that has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. In February, Guyana served as President of the Security Council, and Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, presided over several important meetings, including hearings on the Gaza war.
Also in June 2023, Christopher Arif Bulkan was elected as a Commissioner on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). He is the first Guyanese national to serve on the 64-year-old commission.