General News of Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Renowned international diplomat James Victor Gbeho has said the appointment and use of Ambassadors-at-Large by governments is not at all new to Ghana or the diplomatic world.
This comes in the wake of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s appointment of five-time flag bearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama as an Ambassador-at-Large.
Mr Gbeho told sit-in host of Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show Kwesi Parker-Wilson on Tuesday, 11 January that there was nothing strange about such an appointment.
“…I’ve read a number of Ambassadors of some countries like that in my career, we have received many ambassadors here in Ghana also from other countries in the past, it is a very usual thing that is done. Perhaps, you will remember the British Ambassador who, about a decade ago or so before Hong Kong was granted independence, negotiated on behalf of the British government, and later on, after Hong Kong’s status changed; he became the first Governor-General of Hong Kong.
“You’d probably remember the American diplomat who played a key role in Bosnia Herzegovina at the time of the crisis there, and, so, diplomatic history is replete with such appointments, it’s not a new thing,” Mr Gbeho noted.
The veteran diplomat said he has had the chance to serve in such a capacity several times.
“Let me also say to you that I myself have served as an Ambassador-at-Large or Special Representative or Special Ambassador in the past, both for this country and the UN. You would recall that in the middle of last year, I was used by President John Mahama in the case of Ghana seeking the Deputy Chair position in the AU. When this new Ambassador was appointed, he again called on me to help in getting other colleagues to accept that Ghana would take the number two position in the AU. I did it quietly. For the UN, you’d probably remember that Secretary-General Kofi Annan employed me to help settle a conflict between The Gambia and Guinea Bissau. In fact not once but twice, so it’s a very usual thing and other Ghanaians have also served Heads of States of this country in the past as special ambassadors before.”