The Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, has urged graduates of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to be energetic in their operations as Liberian diplomats in foreign countries.
Speaking Wednesday, December 11, at the graduation ceremony of 38 persons from the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, Minister Ngafuan told graduates that the Foreign Service is a place of competition, and as such they should get ready for the struggle.
He also challenged them to be diplomats every where there go to represent Liberia.
The Foreign Affairs Minister also suggested to the graduates to keep holding onto their dream as Liberia’s diplomats.
He said that protocol can sound both stuffy and mysterious at the same time, and that most of them have had little experience in their non-government lives to prepare for what comes ahead.
He stated that the rules and processes of diplomatic protocol are based in pragmatic thinking, common sense, and good manners—areas where we all have had some experience.
Giving an overview of the institution, Dr. Augustine Konneh, Director General of the Foreign Service Institute at the MFA, said that the institution was established to train young men and women who are interested in the field of diplomacy.
Dr. Konneh explained that the diplomatic training lasts for nine months and at the end they award post-graduate diplomas (PGD), which qualifies them to enter the Foreign Service of the Republic of Liberia.
As the result of this, we now send young men and women who have gone through the institute’s training to do a practicum in “Development Diplomacy.”
He said that many of the trainees have been posted to relevant positions in there various missions.
The Foreign Service Institute director reiterated that the (training) has the mandate to create a program conducive for the exchange of ideas on the political understandings of global economic relations, culture diversities, integration, and the issues of conflict.
The valedictorian of the class, Sondah Geepea-Wilson, lauded the Ministry for the level of cooperation given to the graduates over the past nine months.
She promised that they would use the knowledge wisely in performing their duties as diplomats.