Makeda Antoine has been confirmed as this country’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In a statement yesterday, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dennis Moses congratulated Antoine, who was appointed on Monday.
During a brief presentation ceremony, Moses thanked Antoine for her willingness to serve this country and said Government looked forward to deepening bilateral and multilateral partnerships for the benefit of citizens now and for generations to come.
He said Antoine would be guided by the Government’s policy framework, which underscored that the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs and its diplomatic network of overseas missions must be the front line of projecting the interests of TT internationally.
He said the role of the new head of mission was critical to advancing the country’s development and highlighted trade and investment, tourism, security collaborations, energy, education, agriculture and small business and entrepreneurship as some of the key areas of the national development agenda.
In an immediate response, Naparima MP Rodney Charles, a former TT diplomat, said despite the PNM’s general election manifesto promise, the party, which is now in government, is advancing its members and friends on the diplomatic front.Antoine, Charles claimed, once described herself as the founding president of the Heliconia Foundation for Young Professionals, an organisation which Charles said is pro-PNM. He also said Antoine was once the youth officer for the PNM’s Fyzabad constituency.Charles alleged that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has bypassed competent staff at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in favour of political appointees for ambassadorial postings, and most of the ambassadorial appointments made by Government have been political.
Antoine has an MBA in strategic management emphasis from Andrews University and a BSc in computer systems from the same university, from which she graduated in 2002. She once worked as a manager in commercial operations at TSTT.