Success of Heads of Mission Engagement: Diplomats Discuss Economic Initiatives

Success of Heads of Mission Engagement: Diplomats Discuss Economic Initiatives

Minister of Foreign Affairs Francis Fonseca says the recent Heads of Mission Engagement was a success. The Heads of Mission from around the world returned home to Belize for the annual engagement last week. The meetings served to bring together Belize’s fourteen ambassadors and diplomats to discuss current initiatives and the country’s economic status. During the visit, the group was able to meet with various government ministers and discuss ways of improving their respective sectors. Fonseca spoke about the annual event yesterday and highlighted some of the areas discussed with the group. 

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “We had a good three days with our ambassadors. We brought all of them in. It’s an annual event so we brought all of them to Belize and we had very good discussions and you know and we had very good briefings and presentations on investment, economic development, tourism, agriculture, education, culture, many different areas. We also made good use of the opportunity to take them out into the field. So we took them to the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base. We took them to visit with the productive sector in Spanish Lookout. We also took them to the adjacency zone, the OAS office in the adjacency zone at the western border. So it was a fantastic three days and we had a very very good opportunity to engage and dialogue and have a robust discussion about our foreign policy and our objectives for this year. We have certain critical areas of course that we have to focus on. We discussed of course the whole ICJ process with Belize and Guatemala. We discussed the whole issue of climate change, those are big issues for us. We talked about the importance of our ambassadors being on the front line as ambassadors for tourism and also ambassadors for culture, Belize’s very diverse culture. And also my message to them was they also have to play a critical role in terms of attracting investment to Belize that has to be a key role for them as well, reaching out in their respective countries that they are living and representing Belize reaching out to the private sector to civil society engaging with them to create opportunities for our people. Looking for new scholarship opportunities, education in education. All of these are critically important issues so many different areas we discussed and I’m excited about the work that lies ahead.”

Indigenous rights have become a major topic of discussion the world over as more indigenous groups are seeking land rights. However, interestingly, the group did not have engagement with the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs. Our newsroom asked Fonseca about the situation, and he stated that it was simply due to the group’s tight schedule. 

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “It’s just scheduling. We couldn’t get everything in but that’s obviously very important the whole Maya lands issue for example is something we discussed but obviously more detailed presentations would be necessary. So we try to change it up from year to year and we simply didn’t have enough time on the schedule this year. Yeah when we bring them back together I’m sure that’s something we will consider.”

Belize’s Heads of Mission have since returned to their respective stations.

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