Ministry opening avenues for young people interested in diplomatic careers
By Vernon Khelawan Monday, October 21 2013
The question is asked. Is there a connection between art and diplomacy? This is not a run-of-the-mill question, since the two areas are eons apart, therefore a straight “yes” or “no” just might not cut it.
But Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran thought quite differently about the combination and pointed out that ministry officials hosted an art competition attracting participation from students of the country’s secondary schools, which eventually landed several local students into the United Nations in New York as interns.
Under the auspices of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Dookeran and several of his senior ministry officials re-negotiated an arrangement with the United Nations to send five Trinidad and Tobago students to the New York Headquarters of the UN.
Dookeran said these kinds of initiatives support “our diplomacy of engagement on the home front. We are now focusing on the young diplomats by giving opportunities in the United Nations”. The minister said it was first time this had happened and he hoped to make the project a continuing process.
Minister Dookeran admitted that the UN had provided a lot of support for the programme, because the government had to find the money for transportation and funds to keep them while they were there. He praised the several local corporate sponsors which assisted in making the project a reality.
Dookeran said, “It is in this context we had this particular competition on art, to see diplomacy from the artist’s point of view and from the young people’s desire to look at Caribbean diplomacy with their own eyes. Some of these paintings have been extremely well received. In fact, last year they were sent to the United Nations where there was an entire presentation that was made at the UN with the expressions of art of the young people from Trinidad and Tobago, which was seen globally.”
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