The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon Okello Oryem has urged the newly appointed Heads of Missions and Deputies to take their role of Ambassadorship “seriously” in the particular stations they’ve been posted.
He revealed the big responsibility ahead of them of representing Uganda abroad and reflecting the standards of the fountain of diplomacy- the President.
The warning comes against the backdrop of poor performance by Ugandan diplomats in foreign countries.
The Minister made the revelation on Monday while opening the induction and orientation program for newly appointed Heads of Missions and Deputies at the Civil Service College in Jinja.
Hon Oryem told the Ambassadors that the President had appointed them deliberately, after “careful thought”, because he is “certain” of their “capabilities.”
He encouraged them to take the President’s guidance on what he expects them to achieve on their posting critically.
The Minister called on the new Ambassadors to establish “meaningful contacts and networks” to “aid smooth execution of their mandate both home and abroad.”
Several diplomats have consistently failed to deliver on their mandate due to lack of training in diplomacy.
Others were found to be unfit for the diplomatic assignments.
Oryem emphasized the need for new Ambassadors to reach out to the Ambassadors previously heading the Missions they’ve been posted to in order to learn the dynamics of the stations from them.
He further stressed the need for Ambassadors to realign their minds to achieving inward investment and capital through the Ministry’s Commercial and Economic Diplomacy strategy.
He further encouraged them to avoid wasteful expenditures and also consult and seek advice from the relevant resource persons as they carry out their duties.
Acting Permanent Secretary Amb Isaac Biruma Sebulime urged the diplomats to take on diplomacy and a cool head as they join the Ministry.
Amb. Sebulime highlighted the need for the Ambassadors to acquaint themselves with the Ministry’s vision and mission.
He emphasized that the Ministry is now focused on Commercial and Economic Diplomacy as key but the other sectors have not been and should not be forgotten.
Amb. Sebulime urged the officials to avoid conflicts at Missions and desist from advancing personal interests over National interests.
He informed the Ambassadors dual challenge of refocusing its efforts to promote Commercial and Economic diplomacy and the need for team work both Mission and Ministry level.
Speaking on behalf of the newly appointed Heads of Missions and Deputies, Amb. Dr. Crispus Kiyonga (Head of Mission, Beijing) extended gratitude to the Honorable Minister for a comprehensive synopsis of what is expected of them as Ambassadors and for sharing with them hard facts, ranging from the flow of procedure to relevant protocol and etiquette.