Ramphal House recommissioned to house Foreign Services Institute
The Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday commissioned a building extension in honour of Sir Shridath Ramphal, which will contain Protocol and Consular Services and the Foreign Services Institute.
The building, called Ramphal House, is the third of three buildings now associated with the Ministry’s function of establishing and maintaining diplomatic relations with foreign countries.
In 1983, the building was commissioned in the name of Sir Shridath, an exceptional diplomat who was once the Commonwealth Secretary General. Today, after renovation work, it was reopened in celebration of Guyana’s Republic Day.
According to Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Karen Cummings, there was need for a separate building to house Protocol Services.
“It was soon recognised that there was need to place the Protocol Section of the Ministry in a separate location…It was further decided to dedicate this building in honour of Sir Shridath Ramphal for his outstanding services to this nation, in particular for the development and evolution of its diplomacy,” she indicated.
Sir Shridath, who was present at the commissioning, reflected on moments of his life during his service to Guyana. Reflecting on the country becoming a republic, he reminded of the challenges which ensued subsequently to establish diplomatic relations.
“We had a cause to pursue and because that cause was existential, we had to be effective on all fronts and our new ministry had to lead Guyana’s response. Over the years, it did respond to the challenge, responded at the United Nations, in the Non-Aligned Movement, in the councils of the South, in the negotiations with the European Union, in the Commonwealth, in the anti-apartheid struggle, in ending the diplomatic embargo of Cuba.”
Meanwhile, President David Granger shared his expectations of the entity by saying, “There is no place for mediocrity in the Foreign Service. The institute will have to equip our young cadets in the art or craft and skills expected of the country’s diplomats.”
Sir Shridath has served in the capacity of Commonwealth Secretary General and Foreign Affairs Minister among other titles. The new extension comprises three floors and also houses a library.