Consular news Embassy 42
Consular Corps appoints new chief
The new president of the Consular Corps of London has pledged to “up the game” to raise the profile of the organisation.
Bernard Silver, consul and acting High Commissioner at the Seychelles High Commission, was appointed the new president of the Consular Corps of London at the recent Annual General Meeting.
A new committee was also appointed, including outgoing president George Georgiou (Cyprus), Olga Jerzjukova (Latvia), Chaminda Kulnaratne (Sri Lanka) and Tanya Hulse (Belize).
In his acceptance speech Mr Silver said the Consular Corps deserved a “higher status” as an organisation to reflect the growing importance of consular work in modern diplomacy due to the increased international mobility of populations.
“Diplomacy has changed with the electronic communications but the work of consuls of helping people in trouble is relentless,” he said.
Mr Silver added that it was time for the Consular Corps to “grow some teeth” and to start lobbying the UK government and agencies such as the UKBA to put in place better systems to facilitate their work.
The new president also pledged to attract bigger names to the meetings, while at the same time finding ways to make them affordable and accessible to all.
A resolution was also passed at the meeting to allow missions to pay the annual membership fee instead of individual consuls. Mr Silver appealed to larger missions to offer their facilities for seminars and meetings to keep costs down.
He said the core values of the Consular Corps as a forum for sharing information and for networking with colleagues would remain at the heart of the organisation.
Mr Silver concluded: “I want the Consular Corps to have more status, to be more valuable to make the job of a consul easier and more fun.”