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Isis Gonsalves, left, daughter of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, and Jimesha Prince, daugher of Eudcation Minister St. Clair Jimmy Prince, are among SVG's new diplomatic staff at the United Nations.
Isis Gonsalves, left, daughter of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, and Jimesha Prince, daugher of Eudcation Minister St. Clair Jimmy Prince, are among SVG’s new diplomatic staff at the United Nations.

The children of two current and one former Cabinet minister are among “six or so persons” appointed recently to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines United Nations Mission.

After a decade as a deputy ambassador, Nedra Miguel has been appointed to ambassadorial rank, as St. Vincent and the Grenadines prepares to bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council next year.

Miguel, who is daughter of former deputy prime minister, retired politician Girlyn Miguel, was deputy ambassador to son of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Camillo Gonsalves, during his tour of duty.

Gonsalves’ elder daughter, Isis, who spent a stint as a speechwriter to the President of the United National General Assembly last year, has now been appointed to Kingstown’s mission there.

Also appointed to the mission is lawyer Jimesha Prince, daughter of Minister of Education, St. Clair Jimmy Prince. Prince’s LinkedIn profile says she is a counsellor at the SVG UN mission.

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After being asked specifically who they are, Prime Gonsalves disclosed the names of some of the new appointees, saying he had forgotten who are the others, at a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday.

In his initial comments on the matter, the prime minister said Kingstown has sent to its UN mission an additional “six or so persons, including someone who studied international relations and who has been in Moscow for five years and he is fluent in Russian.

“We have somebody who studied in Latin America, in Venezuela and she is fluent in Spanish. Of course, you have other persons who speak Spanish and French on the staff.

“And someone is also on the staff who has a working knowledge of Mandarin. Like all languages, if you don’t use them, you slip. So I have been advised.”

He further said that the group is composed of “mainly young persons, professional people to assist with the increased work load as we get closer towards the June election [for the Security Council] and we will have to send more staff members to man the mission in respect of sitting on the security council, if, indeed, we win.”

He said “one other senior person” at the mission has been accorded ambassadorial rank in addition to Rhonda King.

“Because there are some meetings, as we are preparing and when we are actually there, where you can’t send somebody other than someone with the rank of an ambassador to be engaged in certain kinds of dialogues. So it’s a very important internal development in the mission to carry out the additional work of our mission.”

Asked who are the new appointees, Gonsalves mentioned Miguel, noting that the longstanding foreign service professional has been deputy to Camillo and King.

“The new persons who have gone up there, well, the young man I spoke about who did Russian, I can’t remember his last name. Well, his first name is Ellis. I am trying to remember his last name, but we could have that,” said Gonsalves, who is famed for his ability to recall facts and names.

The prime minister said he was not sure what is Ellis’ precise designation.

“Because Rhonda King, she puts different people to different things.”

Gonsalves, however, reiterated that Ellis studied international relations in Moscow and speaks fluent Russian.

“Someone from a humble family, as far as I understand,” he said of the new diplomatic staff.

He further said:

“There is Jimesha Prince. She is trained as a lawyer. She worked at the NIS (National Insurance Services) and then was in the prosecutorial service. She is there. There is another male. I can’t recall his name now. And then there is Isis, my daughter.

“Isis worked last year as a speech writer to the president of the general assembly, one of the two or three speechwriters. In fact, I happen to know that the successor, the new president from Ecuador, she wanted Isis to remain on the staff, but Isis didn’t, you know, she prefers to be elsewhere.”

Gonsalves said there is another individual whose name he cannot recall.

He said that Gareth Bynoe would come to New York from SVG’s embassy in Washington.

Bynoe holds a first degree and master’s degrees from universities in Latin America.

The prime minister said that the new diplomatic staff also includes Roxanne Russell, who studied in Venezuela and was a public servant before her latest assignment.

“There is a public servant who had gone up just before; a few months before. Gosh, I forget her name, but we could get the list. I could get the list.”

Gonsalves said that his daughter is “familiar with Mandarin”, having studied the language for a year in Taiwan.

He, however, said that his government would like to have at the United Nations somebody who is fluent in Mandarin rather than someone who just has a working knowledge of the language.

“In fact, people are very impressed by the number of persons who have different language skills or familiarity with languages and different countries and cultures. So we are trying to build that kind of a group. But they have a good staff building and a mixture between some more mature persons who are there and younger people who are going. So it is shaping up ok. It is not yet completely shaped, but for the task at hand, but thus far.”

He said that some persons are involved to help with the more detailed administration while other would help with different things, including legal work and international relations.

“And even those with legal work help also with international relations issues.”

He said the appointees are “children of the education revolution who are really bright young people who are given, who are getting opportunities.

“And I know when I talk about bright young people and my daughter is among them, they would say, ‘Well, boy, Ralph is tooting her horn.’ But she has demonstrated in her work from secondary school going onwards…” the prime minister said.

“As you notice, from the names, we are giving a lot of young people opportunities and before the end of this year, I am hoping we will be able to make announcements in relation to who will go to Taiwan. We have to send somebody to be the ambassador and somebody to be the deputy,” he said.

49 replies on “Gov’t ministers’ children among SVG’s new UN appointees”

  1. Could you not have called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get a list of the newly appointed staff assigned to the UN Mission and do a proper report, or is this just about Ministers’ children. Instead you just repeated verbatim what the PM said. What’s the point?

    1. …and there I was thinking I’m just too critical.

      Thanks Mary W….

      A whole verbatim article smh but let me hush.

      I’m not qualified to speak about journalism.

      But hey, sensationalism sells right?

      1. A journalist asks a prime minister a question at a press conference. The journalist reports, “verbatim”, what the prime minister said in response. But the journalist is accused of being sensational in his reportage? Just stop and think about what you are saying.

    2. Kenton, a professional is expected to be at a different standard than the ordinary person. You proclaim to be a journalist. Reporting verbatim does not equate proper journalism to me. Your articles like so many are with a mission…


      Continue but don’t be so defensive when those who don’t agree point it out 🙂

  2. Many people will call this nepotism — the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs — but all these people appear to be gifted, experienced, and loyal individuals, the last trait being critical because you don’t want backstabbers holding high government appointments.

    If truth be told, we have a shortage of gifted and experienced people in our tiny country willing to work for government at a pay and benefit level that is small compared to what they could all easily earn overseas if they migrated.

  3. There is a young man who studied in Russia and couldn’t get a job for what he studied his only sin is that his mother didn’t want to give up her goods to nasty people so no work for him

  4. Rawlston Pompey says:

    Admirable administrative policy-decision to demonstrate ‘…participative democracy,’
    by providing opportunities to the youth in the diplomatic service.

    However, viewed outside the ‘…diplomatic circle,’ many may find it difficult in
    eliminating from their thoughts ‘…nepotism and cronyism.’

    Looks like a ‘…golden opportunity to a family member and an extended favor to a friend.’

    This has been the culture in most democracies. Outside of ‘…merit; …ability, integrity and professional competence, ‘…square pegs’ had often ended up in ‘…round holes.’

    Notwithstanding, congratulations and good luck to the young diplomats.

  5. Congratulations Nedra, very proud of you. Very proud of our young people. I look forward to the day Nick Francis will make his mark in an ambassadorial capacity.

  6. Is this nepotism?

    Are they both qualified?

    Is it nepotism if they are qualified?

    This inquiring mind is curious!!!

    I reserve my comments!

    1. Dear Vincy Lawyer, it depends very much if they got the job and daddy employed without enquiring if there were other Vincentian youngsters who deserved the job as much or more. Or if other Vincentians had better skills than the two in question. Were the jobs advertised and offered to others? Did anyone else have the opportunity of getting those jobs?

      If they only needed two people and those people were required to have skills including working fluency in languages, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin. But these young ladies neither speak Russian and one has a small amount of Mandarin but not enough to be prolific which the job calls for. So others had to be employed with those skills which means you have several people to do two jobs, at extra cost to the state.

      That folks is nepotism, in its very worst form.

  7. This is a case in point about how SVG works. The same set of people are always the beneficiaries. The same set of people get the advantage every time.
    I don’t mean to piss on the good fortunes of these young people. I can’t say that I would not do the same for my children if I had the chance. This is certainly not their doing but, the corrupt and selfish politicians who will go over poor people’s cadavers to get what they want. When you are in politics you should a least appear to have a conscience. You should not be seen as being partial, selfish and inconsiderate of the people you serve. Politicians in SVG are not serving the people they are serving themselves.

  8. Whomsoever wrote this story, have a read at what the Searchlight wrote. That’s proper research and reporting. Take note.

    1. The biases in the searchlight newspaper have become overbearing. It’s difficult for fair minded people to be satisfied with that type of reporting.

    2. Isis and Jimesha, although they may be qualified, were handpicked ( both of them being very good friends and all) – lets get that straight. However, Isis has been living in NY, working at the UN for a few years now so she has the experience. I’m just a bit puzzled as to why they took so long to appoint her. My next concern is, where is the funding coming from for this ‘ramp up” of staff? NY is an expensive city, the funding must be coming from somewhere because I don’t think that Massa Ralph would want to be squeezing Vincentian taxpayers so that his daughter can live comfortably in NY. IT WILL BACKFIRE!

      1. Although they own that apartment you can be sure there will be an enormous housing and living allowance being New York.

    3. Mr. Chance,

      The Searchlight wrote a story that represents journalism.

      Your story was verbatim and sensational. I agree totally with Mary W.

      This is toddler’s play!

      And THE SEARCHLIGHT NEWSPAPER DID MENTION THAT HIS DAUGHTER WAS AN APPOINTEE. However, it was done so tactfully that YOU probably wont have realize it, THAT’S IF YOU READ IT!

      1. Journalism is about reporting facts, as they are. The fact that you say that the article was verbatim, shows that whatever “sensationalism” there might have been did not originate with us. What you said about “tact” is an indictment, rather than a compliment. Searchlight is doing a good job of taking up the slack of the API. There’s is a “standard” to which we do no aspire.

    4. While you keep whatever “standard” you have, get a proof reader also while you’re at it.

      Only Constructive criticism 🙂

  9. A Poor nation and a Bankrupt nation…with slightly over 100000 population does not have the budget to support a large overseas group of so called representatives or ambassadors.All of these positions consume millions of dollars in expenses that is a complete waste.UNLESS……many of these countries simply need the UN Vote that SVG can provide.Of course much of that goes into the secret offshore accounts of the assorted corrupted politiciand that control SVG

    1. We should be lulled by the lulleys lullaby into understanding the underlying truth. This is a matter of in-house political crowd employment.

      I am sure ULP will respond with a predictable amount of schadenfreude now its revealed that the dynasty works for its own, and only for a few chartered outsiders within the party fold. They accept that and cheer on that what is perhaps the underlying nepotism.

      At least he chose some real Vincentians who need employment as the packing material and not resort to ‘rent a crowd’.

      What will be the telling feature will be a comparison of salaries between those employed and comparing them with each other. I will not hazard a guess but I am sure your own inquisitive minds will help you see the rationality in what I suggest.

  10. What a waste, having to employ all those people to water down the image of nepotism. Only wanting to employ two but having to employ twenty.

  11. Very interesting conversation but I still do not know who all was appointed to what. “Admin” if you are a representative of IWN please provide us with the names unless you do not think that is important to the article.
    As for those who are suggesting that because they are qualified it is not nepotism I will just shake my head with a curious look.
    As for the questions about why these this group of young people? Let me say that most ambassadorships are given to party loyalist.
    If we want to play in the big league we must be willing to pay.

  12. Monica Malcolm says:

    So we talk because the ‘shoe is not on our foot’. Talk on. I would have done the same thing. Young people go and represent us well.

    1. What ever your monicka is Monica, do you think because the shoe fits, people should slide their foot into it when they don’t really own it? So you Monica if you were PM, would have given your children an opportunity without considering others? That Monica is quite plain and simply nepotism, obviously you are another who does not know right from wrong. Or perhaps in your case you know when wrong is wrong and would still adopt wrong.

      My mind goes back to when a Gonsalves girl was caught in the classroom using a cell phone during an examination. Daddy went to the school and ensured wrong was made to be right.

  13. Camillo makes deal with Digicel. Camillo engaged in talks with CCB. Camillo going after tax fraudsters. Camillo tackling high cost for ATM usage. Camillo making a deal for a brand new hotel. Camillo rescinds forex policy towards Trinidad. Camillo working on fiber-optics throughout SVG.
    Camillo is the hardest working man in the ULP cabinet.

    1. I said a while back on Facebook Camillo is soft and only working in the shadow of is dad …….but I take back my statement , he is proving he has heart and guts . lol

  14. Roger from Jamaica says:

    Camillo is working hard to prove he is not a dunce. But we can be sure that whatever he appears to be doing it is the comrade not him.

    After all he is not allowed to speak for himself when the Yugge affair raised its head, so you can be sure that is also applicable in each and everything he does.

    He looks like he is speaking but he is miming to daddy’s words.

    There is still a lot to be exposed in that matter and the court case comes back in December.

  15. fresh young up and coming PM…..fresh young appointed diplomats ………hmmm, I believe the ULP are on to something here . now all we need is fresh young representatives in parliament and constituents . Fresh minds bring fresh new ideas . SVG needs it.

  16. I hope daddy has told him about making enemies and that he should have bodyguards.

    People who are hated for whatever reason in the Caribbean need bodyguards and extra security. Ask Ralph he has over 80 altogether.

  17. Ricardo Francis says:

    Here my questions and concerns with this whole political arrangement:

    1. What is the real purpose of these appointments?

    2. What is the economic cost versus the benefits to St. Vincent and the Grenadines respecting theses appointments?

    3. What is the total budget for this mission office?

    4. What are the salaries and benefits/perks attached to the appointments?

    5. Is this the breeding ground for future politicians on the front lines of the ULP?

    6. Is this the final step before Papa steps down and puts his Cleopatra to run?

    7.What is the cost of the budget versus our GDP? Can this money be spent elsewhere?

    8. Is the Pharoah leader hoping to groom Cleopatra should the little boy not make it?

    9. What is the main language of the United Nations?

    10. Has the Pharoah leader made this arrangement for Cleopatra and Queen Sheba?

    11. Is Cleopatra going to attend businesses and restaurants in New York and tell them to send the bill/invoice to the Prime Minister Office? Is it the same thing that Cleopatra’s mother is doing?

    12. Who paid for the education of the Pharoahs’ children? Was it the hardworking tax payers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

    13. How many naval vessels are in the waters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

    14. Are there different legal and political definitions of diplomats, Consulars and ambassadors?

    15. How may qualified Vincentians are there to do these jobs?

    16. Is the Pharaoh leader more affair of Ricardo Francis than the NDP., James Mitchell, Friday, and or Eustace?

    17. Are they serving the gods of CHEMOSH of the moabites and of the God of secrecy, Baphomet?

    There is no need for the appointments of all these persons. This is just a nice cushy job for the political elites and their cronies. This is a significant cost to the taxpayers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The initial language of diplomat was latin/Italian before it became French. FRENCH is now the language of diplomacy and has been for a longtime. English is a working language of the United Nations.

    There is always more than I can say, but the point was made. I am very fearless.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making.

  18. Ricardo Francis says:

    There is an important point to my reference to Cleopatra, Isis and the Pharoah Leader. Those of us who know ancient history will understand and reference same. I just that you will publish my comment.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making.

  19. Ricardo Francis says:

    Where is the rest of comment, Kenton?

    They cannot sue your for the comments.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

Comments closed.