Barbados has scored a major goal in the world of international diplomacy and labour relations.
It has come with the appointment of Barbadian, Ambassador Chad Blackman, to the cabinet of the newly-elected Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a key agency of the United Nations, Gilbert Houngbo.
Blackman, until last week, served as Barbados’ Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations at Geneva, Vienna and Rome, and Ambassador to Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Serbia.
His new appointment is a first for the Caribbean and Latin America and he will focus on external relations, multilateralism and partnerships for the Director-General.
Houngbo, who is the 11th Director-General, served as Prime Minister of Togo; President of the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD); Deputy Director-General of the ILO and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme, and is the first African to be elected to this post in the ILO’s 103 year history.
Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley, in congratulating Blackman on his appointment, noted: “Barbados has a long and distinguished history of service with the ILO and I am proud that we now have someone serving at this level as a professional.
“What’s even more noteworthy, though, is that Ambassador Blackman is continuing a long and established tradition. Across the globe our people have made a name for themselves and their country by offering top quality service with international organisations and companies.
“We have now to ensure that our young people continue to be prepared to compete in any field in any capital of the world, while recognizing that in the same way others from outside our shores will also seek out opportunities here. That’s the essence of Global citizenship.”
Ambassador Blackman, brings to his new appointment, extensive experience in the international development sector. He has been President of the Group of 77 and China (Geneva Chapter), co-ordinator of the Group of Latin-America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) Countries and Group of the Americas (GRUA) in the ILO; and co-ordinator of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
He was also chair of both the Trade and Development, and Trade and Environment committees in the World Trade Organization, as well as a United Nations International Gender Champion global board member.
Ambassador Blackman has an LLB Law and LLM International Trade Law from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London, and is fluent in French and Spanish.
His appointment took effect from October 1, 2022. (Prime Minister’s Office)