George Wilfred Talbot, Guyana’s ambassador to the United Nations, his wife – Grace Angela and son – Joel Ephraim received an emotional and warm farewell from staff of the United Nations, Guyana Mission and the CARICOM community on Wednesday, July 27 as the envoy prepares to take up his next assignment in Brazil, South America.
The Guyana Mission’s 5th Floor space on Manhattan’s East side with many well-wishers, showered with praise, calling him humbled, and hardworking and someone who will leave an indelible mark on the diplomatic community.
Serving as emcee, Troy F. Torrington, minister counselor in the mission, said the afternoon of tributes was fitting for Talbot, a Guyana National Award recipient, whose dedication and exemplary work in the mission will be missed.
“It was an honor to work with Mr. Talbot, a man of integrity and humility,” said Torrington, adding that the former chargé d’affaires, showed leadership in the mission.
“We appreciate the work you did at the mission and wish you well as you go forward,” added Torrington.
Janine Coye Felson, charge d’affaires of Belize Mission to the UN, described Talbot, a former permanent representative of Guyana and chair of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) for the General Assembly’s 67th session as a God-fairing man who served his country very well.
She reflected on Talbot’s accomplishments calling him a leader who demonstrated qualities of composure and character that many leaders should have. She noted that he worked for the greater good of the community.
“Thanks for your service and your friendship,” she said to Talbot who also served as Guyana’s non-resident ambassador to Israel and non-resident high commissioner to the Republic of Namibia.
Counselor Bibi Shelia Ally tearfully expressed her sadness at the diplomat’s departure, stating the staff would miss Talbot.
“We sincerely appreciate all that you have taught us over the years and wish you the best,” she said, before presenting Talbot with a token of appreciation from the mission staff.
Talbot who joined the mission as a minister counselor, brought a wealth of service from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Georgetown, holding positions as second secretary and first secretary was held in high regard by Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago Permanent Representative to the UN, Eden Charles.
“It is a testament that we hold George in high regard, your work has shun, and will continue to shine on behalf of your country. Although you are going to a bilateral post, I know wherever possible, you will look after the region’s interest,” added Charles.
A career diplomat, who headed his country’s delegation in New York when Guyana was chair of the Union of South American Nations in 2011, and the Rio Group in 2006, Talbot took his work seriously, in a refreshing way, said former colleague in the foreign service, Neil Pierre, chief in Policy Coordination Branch for ECOS Support & Coordination Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs in the UN.
“He has not been alone in this journey. He has been accompanied by a competent and rock of a family. I know you are people of faith, God’s speed as you embark on this next phase of your life,” said Pierre.
Ambassador Talbot, who so far has spent 23 years in the foreign service, held posts in the field of multilateral diplomacy, working on economic, social and political issues, said that it was a rewarding experience to represent Guyana in the foreign service, and he was extremely proud of his country, Guyana.
Talbot who earned a bachelor’s degree in modern languages from the University of Guyana and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, thanked staff and colleagues for their consistent support during his tenure in the foreign service.
“For my family and me it has been a rewarding experience to serve at the UN, we grew up with the UN, and it was an honor to serve as a preeminent representative of Guyana, most recently, we are extremely proud of our country.”
“We are called to live a life of fulfillment and service to others. It will never come if we are only focused on our self,” said Talbot, a religious believer, who speaks, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
“Changes are constant in life and we are confident that the time has come for the renewal of a season and new assignment. We are very honored to move on to a new assignment, in a neighboring country. We hope, with your support and prayers we will be able to make a significant contribution,” said Talbot.