Kamla Persad Bissessar was correct, and Professor Andy Knight entirely wrong in his false and outdated comment that she was “out of line” to write PM Mia Mottley.
According to Professor Knight, there is only one government in TT and Dr Rowley as TT’s Prime Minister is the only person in the world to communicate with Barbados’ Mia Mottley on matters relating to TT.
“What utter nonsense based on antediluvian international relations (IR) protocols in which governments spoke only to each other to the exclusion of other interest groups”, says MP Charles, a former TT Permanent Representative to the UN.
But protocols in IR are only guidelines governing diplomatic interactions ‘and not cast in stone’, as we are reminded by the Foreign Service Institute which is the primary training institute for US diplomats.
Modern diplomacy is replete with examples of non-state actors being involved in international diplomacy.
Former US Ambassador to the UN, Bill Richardson, who previously helped a former US marine, earlier in 2022 visited Moscow in September of the same year to “do the same for WNBA star Brittney Griner”.
US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, (a Republican) the nearest equivalent in the US system to our Opposition Leader, communicated with and met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen earlier this year at the Ronald Reagan Presidential library. McCarthy is in many ways opposed to the Biden administration.
Greta Thunberg, a Swedish girl born in 2003, is known worldwide “for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation. She is not a Head of State.
The UN has used a number of Goodwill and cultural ambassadors like Christine Amanpour, Laura Bush and Princess Caroline of Hanover to advance various international causes.
Even PM Rowley met with Republicans, Michael McCaul and Mark Green on two separate visits to the US last year.
Unfortunately, Professor Knight, like many in academia, seem inextricably wedded to yesterday’s theoretical principles instead of today’s practical realities.
He should be reminded of what the Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy calls modern: “network diplomacy” involving “as many sub-national units and civil society actors linked up …. across the world, giving a further impetus to transnational relations”.
This contrasts with “Club Diplomacy” governed by the nation state by which only Rowley could speak to Mia Mottley.
Professor Knight is also reported in our media as saying the Barbados Police Force “was abiding by the Extradition Act of the laws of Barbados in turning over Thomas to the TTPS”.
Was it not Barbados AG Dale Marshall who said in that country’s Parliament that the Barbados Police Service fell “somewhat short of applicable legal norms” when it apprehended TT national Brent Thomas without an extradition request last October?
Something appears seriously wrong with Professor Andy Knight.
Come on Professor Knight. You are better than this.