When Camillo Gonsalves, son of Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves was asked to be a senator and Foreign Affairs Minister in his father’s government, he did not agree immediately, he says.
“It’s an issue that was speculated on … for quite a while. It was an offer that I had. I reflected on it for quite a while,” Sen. Gonsalves told I-Witness News on Monday when asked if he had expected the appointment.
“I reflected on it for quite some time before accepting it,” the younger Gonsalves told I-Witness News moments after her took oaths as Minister of …
Among the things that the former U.N ambassador considered was “the nature of politics in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” and the fact that he has “a young family”.
“I considered the sacrifices that both I and they would have to make in greater service to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And I considered frankly other options that I would have had, personally and professionally, but, having considered them, I thought that this was a tremendous once-in-a-lifetime honour, a tremendous responsibility.
“I thought that my experiences and my ideas could find fertile ground in the government and the cabinet and I thought I would be able to make some small contribution to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he further said.
Asked how he thinks his five years’ experience as this country’s U.N. envoy would aid him as foreign secretary, Sen. Gonsalves said:
“Well, past ministers of foreign affairs in this government have not come into the job on day one with the sort of experience that I have acquired, … but they manage to do an excellent job nonetheless.
“I hope that the experiences I gained in New York and the international sphere will assist me in helping to chart a course for St. Vincent and the Grenadines in what has become a very difficult global environment.”
Sen. Gonsalves said he thinks that he has “a perspective of not only the local issues that drive foreign policy but some of the external stressors and stimulants to what affects St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Most of what we are struggling with now, from a developmental standpoint, are factors that are imposed on us externally and I think I have somewhat of a unique perspective on how those factors develop, how they are brought to bear on us, and how we can navigate our way around them. So, I think it would make me a more well-rounded foreign minister,” he said.
Sen. Gonsalves is also a former senior crown counsel. He has undergraduate degrees in journalism and law, a master’s degree in global affairs (political economy), and is currently pursuing a doctorate.