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King is new Permanent Representative to UN

King is new Permanent Representative to UN

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St Vincent and the Grenadines has a new Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She is 53-year-old Inga Rhonda King, whose appointment took effect on September 1.{{more}}

King’s appointment was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves during a press conference at the Cabinet Room.

The immediate former chair of Invest SVG, King was also the honorary consul for Portugal to St Vincent and the Grenadines from 2010. She was born in Curacao, Netherland Antilles, to Vincentian parents, but grew up in SVG, and has lived and worked in several countries, including the People’s Republic of China.

SEARCHLIGHT caught up with King yesterday and during an interview, she told us she considers her appointment an honour and a privilege.

“It is an honour and a privilege to serve one’s country in any capacity and more so to be appointed its permanent representative at the United Nations. I am truly humbled by it. But, with the confidence placed in me by the Honourable Prime Minister and his Cabinet, the prayers of my mother, friends and well-wishers, my love for my country and an abiding belief in the vision of the Hon Prime Minister for our multi island state, I go forth,” the new Ambassador said.

King is a business owner, strategist, concept designer and writer. She is a management accountant and financial manager, with more than two decades of professional experience. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and chemistry and has taught mathematics and English as a second language. In 2006, she founded Strategy Forum Inc. in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Strategic Forum Inc. is a strategy and concept design laboratory and publishing house.

She told SEARCHLIGHT that her background and wide experience make her particularly suited for her new assignment.

“Being able to think critically is one of the main aims of a sound education and mathematics is ideally suited to training the mind in this regard. I like to think that my background in mathematics has so prepared me,” the Villa resident said.

“Because I have lived and worked in several Caribbean countries, the United States and China, I am not new to operating on the international stage and have done so in various ways for more than two decades.”

King said the date on which she will present her credentials to the Secretary General of the United Nations has not yet been decided, but her assignment is for two years in the first instance.

Ambassador King replaces former Permanent Representative Camillo Gonsalves, whose six-year tour of duty ended on August 31, 2013. Prime Minister Gonsalves congratulated the former Ambassador at yesterday’s press conference, saying he had done an “excellent job”.

When asked how does she feel following on from the younger Gonsalves, who set the bar quite high in terms of his performance at the UN, King said she is grateful to Gonsalves for laying a sound foundation.

“I am immensely grateful to Ambassador Gonsalves because during his tenure as the Permanent Representative he demonstrated what is indeed possible. He has laid a solid foundation and created a fertile environment for continuity.”

Gonsalves was appointed Permanent Representative to the UN on September 1, 2007. He replaced Margaret Hughes Ferrari, who had been in the position since September 2001.

King told SEARCHLIGHT that while it is too early to say what her emphasis will be in terms of what aspects of the government’s foreign policy she intends to pursue most vigorously, she is interested in economic development issues and opportunities to attract foreign direct investment.

King is the daughter of retired educator Winifred King of Villa.

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