Ambassador Insanally ready to promote Guyana’s interests in USA
By Francis Quamina Farrier
When Dr. Riyad Insanally was accredited as Guyana’s newest Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS) last year, it was amidst what was arguably one of the most controversial elections the United States of America had ever seen and one which would go down in history.
Now, having taken up at his demanding post in the capital of the most powerful nation on earth, Ambassador Insanally has his work cut out for him: to efficiently represent his native Guyana, a developing nation on the brink of oil discovery and green energy prospects.
On September 16, 2016, the Ambassador presented his Letters of Credence to President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. In his remarks to the American president, Dr Insanally referred to the “friendship and cooperation” which the two countries have enjoyed over the years. Later, on October 30, Dr Insanally presented his Letters of Credence to the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almargo, at the organisation’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “It was a hectic period of settling in, but enjoyable,” the Ambassador said, adding that he “loves a challenge”.
A career Diplomat, Dr Insanally is a graduate of both Cambridge University in England the Harvard University, in the United States. He has over 25 years’ experience of diplomatic service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana, the CARICOM Secretariat and other international organisations. Showering praise on his predecessor, Ambassador Bayney Karran, Insanally said that he inherited a well-run embassy. “[But] with every transition there is a feeling that we need to raise the bar,” he said. To that objective, the Ambassador says that his staff at the embassy is very supportive. He expressed gratitude to former Ambassador Karran for leaving a platform on which he could continue to build.
“It is a matter of pride that we should have an attractive environment in which to work and in which to welcome our visitors”, he concluded, referencing the Embassy building.
The Ambassador also spoke of his arrival in the United States and the adjustments he and his family had to make. “While it was challenging, it proved successful,” he said, adding that early on, he had to turn his attention from his private domestic responsibilities, to his national professional responsibilities at the Guyana Embassy.
Among the first things Ambassador Insanally did after settling down at his new job, was pay a courtesy call on a Washington, D.C.-based retired Guyana Ambassador, Dr Eustace Ricardo Braithwaite who served as Guyana’s first Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and later, Ambassador to Venezuela. Better known as the author of the bestselling novel, To Sir, With Love, Mr. Braithwaite passed away on December 18, 2016, at age 104. Ambassador Insanally was a special invitee to represent Guyana at the private viewing of the body of the late author and Diplomat. “I was very happy and very privileged to spend an afternoon with him [just before his passing]…He was a special Guyanese,” the Ambassador said.
With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America, there will be many changes with regard to the previous running of the country. Ambassador Insanally is conscious of this, and no doubt, will have to carefully assess what obtains in the future and act accordingly to ensure that Guyana and the United States continue their cordial relationship, which both countries have enjoyed over the years. Meanwhile, Ambassador Insanally plans to continue the tradition of the Embassy to engage the Guyanese Diaspora in making whatever contributions they can, not only to the successful running of the Embassy, but to the continuing development of the Motherland, Guyana, as well.