Ambassador Hunte bids tearful farewell

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The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
A tearful Ambassador Conrod Hunte shares parting words with colleagues as he prepares to leave for a new United Nations assignment in Geneva, Switzerland.

Senior government officials join a day of commendations and tearful farewells as AOSIS Chairmanship ends.

NEW YORK- 13th December 2022- Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Walton Webson assembled his team of AOSIS leaders and advisors for a show of gratitude and to say farewell to many of them at the end of Antigua and Barbuda’s very successful two-year period as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States.

Joining the ceremony by way of teleconference were Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. E P Chet Greene and Minister of Environment Sir Molwyn Joseph.

Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. EP Greene and Minister of Environment Sir Molwyn Joseph join other team members on a conference call for the ceremony.

Sir Molwyn used the opportunity to advocate for Antigua and Barbuda to remain at the vanguard of the fight against the deeply troubling effects of climate change following the encouraging outcomes of COP27.

He heaped praise on the team of experts and advisors lead by Ambassador Webson who were assembled during Antigua and Barbuda’s chairmanship of AOSIS for their sterling efforts at the recently concluded climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The Chairmanship is rotational, so that means it has now been passed on to Samoa who will now be leading the charge of island nations on the climate front.

Sir Molwyn says Antigua and Barbuda must remain engaged at all levels and give thePacific country its fullest support to ensure recent gains are maintained.

While congratulating the entire team, he singled out Climate and Finance Legal Advisor Michai Robertson for the inspirational role he played, especially when backs were against the wall, in keeping the ambition for Loss and Damage on track.

“Michai emerged as one of the foremost authorities on the issue of Loss and Damage.

So, when the developed countries can look in the direction of Antigua and Barbuda for guidance because we have one of our young and brilliant minds, an Antiguan and Barbudan, who can stand up with the best in the world, it makes us all proud,” Sir Molwyn stated.

He further offered that without the efforts of the talented and hardworking team of mainly young Antiguans and Barbudans that the goal of Loss and Damage at this year’s COP would not have been achieved.

“It was quite evident that Antigua and Barbuda played more than a pivotal role in achieving the Loss and Damage Fund,” Sir Molwyn stated.

Minister Greene, under whose portfolio the New York Mission of Antigua and Barbuda falls, was also glowing in his praise for the stewardship of the Permanent Mission during Antigua and Barbuda’s chairmanship of the island grouping.

He noted the outstanding work of the office, under the leadership of Ambassador Webson, which served as the AOSIS headquarters for the past two years. He applauded the team for moving some of the most critical issues affecting island nations to the forefront of a lengthy list of priorities on the global agenda.

AOSIS Lead Negotiator on Finance Michai Robertson listens as officials commend him for his outstanding efforts during COP27.

In this connection, he joined with Sir Molwyn in paying tribute to the work of Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Conrod Hunte, who led the Climate Team this year.

Ambassador Hunte leaves his post in the foreign service after 40 years for a new assignment as a Member of the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), headquartered in Geneva Switzerland.

The team depended on Ambassador Hunte’s sound and erudite leadership during COP27. Minister Greene began a day of farewell from the entire office staff by sharing the gratitude of the Government and People of Antigua and Barbuda for his outstanding tenure of service to the country’s diplomatic and international affairs over four decades.

In a tearful response to the outpouring of goodbyes and best wishes later in the day, Ambassador Hunte assured his colleagues that he would keep their memories special in his heart and will continue to work in the service of Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Walton Webson chairs the ceremony in the conference room of the Antigua and Barbuda Mission in New York.

Ambassador Webson also wished Ambassador Hunte well and joined in congratulating the entire team for the last two years of hard work under the leadership of Prime Minister Gaston Browne for an outstanding term as AOSIS Chair.

He said it was a real honour and pleasure to work and head an expert team of youthful, knowledgeable, and excited professionals as Antigua and Barbuda transitions an impressive set of achievements over the past two years to Samoa.

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