Brussels, 27 November 2020/OACPS: The Committee of Ambassadors (CoA) of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) said goodbye to another OACPS stalwart, H.E. Mrs Sheila Sealy Monteith, at the Committee’s Special Session on 24 November 2020, as she prepares to return to headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica.

In her tenure as Ambassador of the Embassy of Jamaica and Mission to the European Union, Ambassador Monteith has been a dynamic presence within the CoA. In his farewell message, on behalf of his fellow ambassadors and the OACPS, the Chair, Ambassador Jestas Abuok Nyamanga of the United Republic of Tanzania congratulated his departing colleague, “on the work done in the last three years in the organization and for her country, here in Brussels.”

The Chair outlined the pivotal role that the Ambassador of Jamaica played – to not only assist the OACPS as a whole “to think strategically and work effectively to be a fit-for-purpose organization of which we can all be proud” but also to position her country “on one of the highest pedestals within the OACPS”, and to promote the Caribbean region. On the latter, he explained: “As a member of the Bureau, she expressed the concerns and defended the interests of her region and ensured that the Caribbean was fully involved in OACPS decision-making processes through extensive information sharing and internal strategic coordination.”

The Chair outlined Ambassador Monteith’s considerable achievements during her term of office in Brussels, which included serving, shortly after her formal presentation to the CoA, as Chair of the OACPS CoA from February to July 2018, as Coordinator of the Caribbean region and as a member of the Ambassadorial Working Group on the OACPS Headquarters Building. She also played an active role, with the President of the Council of Ministers, to support the Cotonou negotiation process, especially in terms of harmonising the Group’s positions and finalising the negotiation mandate. A key member of the OACPS Negotiation team as a standing member of the Central Negotiating Group, Ambassador Monteith was also a Vice Chair of the Technical Negotiating Team on Pillar III, Political Dialogue and Advocacy, and took part in OACPS internal consultations in the Strategic Planning sessions.

In her remarks, H.E. Monteith shared that it was indeed her privilege to serve the OACPS at a very defining moment in its history, “I am gratified to have been part of our collective action to produce a Negotiating Mandate for the post-Cotonou negotiations and to have been a part of the negotiating processes which ensued.”

Expressing her appreciation to all “for the support, assistance and guidance” given to her at every level throughout her term in office, H.E. Monteith concluded, “I leave Brussels as any good soldier would – happy to return to base, regretful at leaving post and eternally grateful for the experience garnered, friendships made, and feeling the richer for it all.”