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Grenada not in violation of Vienna Convention on trade and diplomacy

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by Linda Straker

  • Honorary Consuls or Trade Consuls do not have same level of immunity as ambassadors
  • Honorary Consuls conduct diplomacy free of cost to Government of Grenada
  • Grenada is not violating any section of the Vienna Convention on Trade and Diplomacy

Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David, has explained that Grenada as a small developing state is not engaging in any international misconduct when it appoints citizens to be honorary consuls or trade consuls to represent the island in places where there are no embassies.

Explaining that it’s difficult for the country to operate embassies throughout the world, David in an interview on Friday, said that there are two kinds of diplomat, and those who are appointed as Honorary Consul or Trade Consul do not have the same level of immunity as ambassadors.

“We will appoint someone as Honorary Consul where it does not cost anything to the Government of Grenada and what they do is conduct diplomacy free of cost to us, but in order to conduct that diplomacy they must have a diplomatic passport and some diplomatic position, but that does not guarantee immunity,” David said, pointing out that the Honorary Consul does not get immunity.

“So the issuance of diplomatic passports to honorary consuls, to trade consuls, to all of these persons has nothing to do with the Citizenship By Investment programme (CBI) and it has nothing to do with the government’s sale of anything. It is a matter of them conducting our diplomacy in a way that allows us access to as many countries in the world as possible.” The minister pointed out that a person who gained citizenship through the CBI can be considered for a diplomatic post. “That appointment is not on the base of the CBI programme but on the fact that the person is a citizen of this country and is willing to represent us,” he said, explaining that all persons who become a citizen through the various means available, can represent the country following the necessary due diligence.

A person can gain citizenship through the naturalisation process of up to second and third generations in accordance with the Immigration Act, or purchase it through the CBI programme. The CBI programme provides for an approved applicant to invest in real estate in a country or make the required contribution to the National Transformation Fund.

“So, we have representatives in these countries who are Grenadian citizens regardless of how they acquired the citizenship, but there is no link between CBI and diplomacy,” he said. Minister David is of the belief after research, that the country is not violating any section of the Vienna Convention on Trade and Diplomacy. “We do not believe that we are violating any Vienna convention. Our research does not suggest that the Vienna convention is violated.”

The Vienna Convention on Trade says that consular officers and consular employees have “functional immunity” but do not enjoy the broader “personal immunity” accorded to diplomats as provided for in the Vienna Convention on Diplomacy.

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Caribbean & World

The country with no army! – Nas Daily

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“One of 31 unique places in the world that doesn’t have a standing Army. How does it feel like to be here? Awesome.”

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Caribbean & World

In coronavirus, our shared humanity is reiterated

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by JC Jan

We carry within us the wonders we seek without us…(Sir Thomas Browne – Religio Medici, 1645)

John Donne, a poet, once wrote that the death of another diminishes him because he is involved in mankind. This invariably reiterates Sir Thomas Browne’s creed that there is a bit of us in all of us and this coronavirus has become a talking point for the manifestation of that fact.

When the news of this deadly virus broke out, it puts China in the eyes of the world and due to their itinerant nature, we all have reasons to be concerned. Coronavirus is a global health emergency and we cannot afford to fold our arms from a distance and watch China battle for the soul of her republic. Through genetic testing, over 74, 499 victims are now infected in China alone. In about 30 countries and territories, 76,805 cases are confirmed.

For the record, Grenada is not among the 30 countries and we are grateful for that. Though Grenada and her government do not have the resources or the capacity to fight this deadly disease and therefore not ready for such, it is interesting to note that our weather will not make life easier for the cold-loving virus. As our government is assuring us that our citizens studying in China are safe, we believe and pray that they stay so.

True to this calling of our shared humanity, the world has not pretended in their sympathy to China and other unfortunate nations that are now with this virus and are fighting to contain it. Countries like Japan have already recorded two deaths, with 731 cases. South Korea has 204 cases with one death on record. Australia now has 17 cases. The United States of America has about 27 cases. The United Kingdom has 9 cases. The list goes on.

The human response to stimuli overbears the urge to withhold, hence, we are now collectively united in the fight against the continued spread of the disease and it is at tensed times like this that the beauty of the world comes to the open despite how gloomy the situation that prompted it appears.

The issue at stake is not about “race” in the world. All we need to remember is the need to survive. It’s about humanity. With over 2,449 deaths and still counting; with over 76,805 infected and still counting, and with more cases being reported all over the world, we bow down our heads in recognition of the efforts The People’s Republic of China has been making, even as players in the medical field continue to struggle to curtail the spread of this virus.

However, the efforts of experts around the globe should not go unrecognised, especially those experts in China who are working indefatigably. Their hard work is paying off. It seems they have sighted the end to this virus. In Karachi, Pakistan, China’s Consulate General made a statement. “I have seen that according to the experts in China, they are saying the peak of the epidemic has already arrived and it will come down no matter from the epicentre and across the whole of China. This will be coming down this week and next week, and the epidemic may be over by the end of March,” said Li Bijian.

If this virus continues to spread across nations, we are bound to feel every bit of its fang because of the current global system that has reduced the world to a micro-community of humans.

Our heartfelt sincere love goes to the infected and affected persons, and to the dead, our total respect. Long live The People’s Republic of China, and long live humanity.

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Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG has died

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by Linda Straker

  • Sir Royston died early this morning in Trinidad, age 75 years
  • Survived by his wife Lady Betty Hopkin and his three children
  • Awarded Knight Commander of The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 2004

Almost 7 months after receiving a lifetime award from Tourism Minister, Claris Modeste, hotelier Sir Royston Hopkin has died. He was the owner of Spice Island Beach Resort, located on the Grand Anse Beach.

“Yes, he died early this morning in Trinidad,” said Brian Hardy, General Manager of the hotel. Hardy promised that a statement will be issued later in the day. Sir Royston was recovering from a medical procedure which occurred a few weeks ago. Sir Royston was 75 years old. He is survived by his wife Lady Betty Hopkin and his three children.

“It is a true honour to be recognised with the Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award. As I accept this prestigious recognition, I reflect on how far we’ve come and the continued growth we are realising today,” Sir Royston said at the award ceremony in mid-2019.

Besides the minister’s award, Sir Royston received many awards. In December 2004, he earned the introduction “Sir” when Queen Elizabeth II deemed him Knight Commander of The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for his contributions to the tourism industry in Grenada and throughout the Caribbean.

Sir Royston held numerous positions within the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), and served on the board of directors. He received the organisation’s 1991 “Hotelier of the Year” award as well as Lifetime Achievement awards from CHTA and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO). In early 2019, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit in Miami recognised his contributions to the tourism industry in Grenada as well as the luxury services he provides at his resort.

Royston Hopkin began his tourism career when he joined his family business, the Ross Point Inn, in 1965. By age 20, he was appointed to the Grenada Board of Tourism, where he served 18 consecutive years. By age 24, he became the first Grenadian-elected president of the Grenada Hotel Association, a position he held on 14 occasions. By 1987, he had purchased a majority interest in the Spice Island Inn and became the owner and chairman of the property, which he renamed Spice Island Beach Resort. Under his direction, the property expanded from 28 to 66 suites as part of a $6 million renovation in 2000.

Like much of Grenada, Spice Island Beach Resort was devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but one year later, and with a $12 million investment, the resort reopened.

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