Daily Archives: October 17, 2012

Only 24 of 177 Bolivian Foreign Ministry diplomats are professional

Pagina Siete reports:

Just 13.5% of the staff was academically trained

Only 24 of 177 Foreign Ministry diplomats are professional

DATA as recorded on the lists of the central service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officials with hierarchical positions are not career diplomats.

Only 13.5% of the specialized personnel of the Ministry of foreign relations of Bolivia are career diplomats, according to the official lists of the central service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which Pagina Siete had access to.

In embassies and consulates abroad, the percentage is even lower and only Roberto Calzadilla, Ambassador in the Netherlands, has a diplomatic career.

On these data, MAS congresswoman, Ingrid Loreto, Chairman of the International Relations Committee, at the Lower House, admitted that the ideal would be to have more employees who are professional, but at the same time warned that the majority of the country career diplomats are contrary to the line of the Government and have “defects that do not want to change”.

Meanwhile, the former Foreign Minister Armando Loaiza regretted the situation and argues that the handling of the foreign policy of the State cannot be in the hands of people without sufficient training.

Figures

Of the 307 officials at the central service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 177 hold positions for which specialized training is required, but only 24 of them attended the diplomatic career, as evidenced by the document.

It is also observed, that the highest items are assigned to non-career staff. Diplomats who still work in the Chancery, are located between level four and 17 of the pay scale.

Three top wage levels – those with the highest amount – contained 42 officials, starting with the Minister David Choquehuanca, through Deputy Ministers, Directors General and consultants hired, almost all without diplomatic studies.

Just one of the 24 diplomats has the “first Minister” range (level next to the Ambassador, according to the Law 1444); the others have little influence and lower ranges.

Abroad, among the 34 embassies and representations in all the consulates that work separately to the embassies and permanent, (Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Spain and United States), no more than a few [20] of career diplomats work, according to information from sources from the Foreign Ministry who asked discretion and their identity not be disclosed.

In the Embassies, career diplomats hold positions of little relevance; the rest is formed by guests or close people to the MAS.

To analyze the case, Loaiza added that “must depoliticize the diplomatic service because it defends interests of the Bolivian State and not of certain Governments”.

Foreign service

Chancery: of the 24 diplomats in functions, one has rank of first Minister, three are Ministers counselors, there are two counselors and 18 are Secretaries.

Missions abroad: career diplomats occupy the positions of First and Second Secretary, with exceptional cases such as Argentina, Austria and Mexico, where there are Advisor Ministers, there is the third level in the [diplomatic] career, according to the Law 1444.

Points of view

Armando Loaiza, former Chancellor: Diplomacy is a strategic instrument that has a State for its international projection, (to) take its foreign policy. Despite the difficulties, in the last decade Bolivia sought to boost its foreign service, eventually came to have between 57% and 60% of accredited officials (of career). [now we have 13.5% – what a waste, right?]

These professionals were formed in the Diplomatic Academy or other centers of higher studies in international relations. This is the idea which should prevail, the foreign service can not be used as a mechanism for internal politics, is a strategic service because it is defending the major policies of the State.

Ingrid Loreto, MAS congresswoman: What happened, is that some career diplomats, who have years of experience, they have some blemishes that do not want to change, then becomes a problem to choose our officials to go abroad. To balance the amount of career diplomacy officials committed to the process of change is that they are working on the formation of new professionals in this area, but in an integral manner, so that they are not like many of now, who have a distinct stigma. [??!!]

There are, even some discriminatory acts [by career officials], but it is because they are not well soaked with the changes that the country is experiencing. Therefore, without diminishing the preparation of those officials, I believe that commitment is more important.

http://www.paginasiete.bo/2012-10-15/Nacional/Destacados/2700000115-10-12-P720121015LUN.aspx

No wonder our country nationals have to endure these ‘capacities’ when they seek support from our Foreign Service… let alone there is a hectic, incoherent and haphazard foreign policy with countries like USA and Chile…