Ms Pat Durrant represents the best of our awesome women ambassadors

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


Women represent fewer than 10 per cent of diplomats in the top position of ambassador to Washington, DC out of the 189 diplomatic missions there. Overall, the number of women ambassadors at the United Nations has only just reached 37 out of 193-member states.

Last week's passing of Jamaica's trailblazing woman Ambassador Patricia Durrant, aged 76, compels acknowledgement of her outstanding work and that of our other women ambassadors who have served with such distinction and impeccable comportment.

Ambassador Migonette Patricia “Pat” Durrant, a past student of St Andrew High School for Girls, graduated from The University of the West Indies (UWI) with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma in International Relations. She studied at University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and received a Diploma in Overseas Development Studies.

She joined the foreign service in 1971 and rose to become Jamaica's first woman ambassador in Bonn, Germany in 1987 and then permanent representative of Jamaica to the United Nations in 1995.

She served previously at the United Nations as Jamaica's deputy permanent representative from 1983 to 1987. During 1999-2001, she was president of the High-level Committee on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries; in 1999 she was vice-chair of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Population and Development.

Ms Durrant led Jamaica's delegation during its second tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (2000-2001) where she was instrumental in the council's adoption of Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and was responsible for democratising the operational procedures of the council.

During this period, she was also chair of the UN Preparatory Committee for the Special Session on Children, and chair of the Consultative Committee for the UN Development Fund for Women.

Ambassador Durrant was held in such high regard that the UN secretary general appointed her as the United Nations Ombudsman in April 2002 in the rank of assistant secretary general, the first to hold this position.

When she returned home, she continued her life of service as president of the United Nations Women's Guild of Jamaica, a charitable organisation.

Among the many accolades she received for her life's work, Ambassador Durrant was the recipient of the Commander of the Order of Distinction and the Order of Jamaica from the Government of Jamaica; The UWI's Distinguished Graduate award on the occasion of its 50th anniversary; and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the World Association of Former United Nations Interns and Fellows.

In Ambassador Durrant, a library of knowledge has closed its doors. She served our country during the golden era of Jamaican diplomacy, guided many a young minister and navigated the powerful corridors of the United Nations with sophistication and class.

May her soul rest in peace.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT