Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has announced that Dr. Walton Alfonso “Aubrey” Webson has been appointed as the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
According to an Antigua and Barbuda government statement in New York, Webson, a medical doctor, will serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Browne said the Dr. Webson is “an outstanding citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who has made significant contributions to the social development of people with disabilities around the world.”
“As a visually impaired individual, Dr. Webson has worked extensively in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, helping to shape educational services for children with disabilities,” Browne said.
“He has also supported governments and social workers in policy development,” he added. “I am confident that he is very suitable for the responsibilities entrusted to him.”
The Antiguan Prime Minister also introduced Dr. Webson to Antiguans and Barbudans living in New York during a town hall meeting on Friday in the Bronx.
He told over 300 nationals in attendance that Dr. Webson will be the Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Office in New York with the various department heads reporting to him under a new arrangement, which sees the Tourist Office, the Consulate and the Mission to the UN being merged as a single unit.
During the town hall meeting, Browne also announced that an offer has been made to Dr. Dave Ray to be the Diaspora Liaison Officer, creating a link between the Diaspora and the government.
He said the move is designed to strengthen the relations with Antiguans and Barbudans in the Diaspora and to have them play an active role in the development of their homeland.
The Antiguan leader said the aim is to have Dr. Ray, “capture the issues of Antiguans and Barbudans in the Diaspora,” adding that he will then liaise with the Antigua Office in New York headed by Dr. Webson.
Webson’s appointment as Permanent Representative to the United Nations takes effect on Nov. 1, the statement said. Webson replaces Dr. John Ashe, who recently served as president of the UN General Assembly.