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New Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, Ransford Smith, has pledged to work to strengthen the ability of the Commonwealth Secretariat to enhance the socio-economic progress of member states.
“I expect to contribute to the excellent work that the Commonwealth has been doing in assisting developing member countries, as well as ensuring that the entire Commonwealth family is fully and effectively a part of the wide-ranging developmental efforts of the global community,” he stated in a recent interview with Commonwealth News and Information Service in London.
Mr. Smith, who will oversee economic and social development affairs, said he intended to continue to extend and deepen the scope of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC), which is managed by the Secretariat.
He noted that the CFTC had been making a valuable contribution to the development needs of member states in international trade, enterprise development and investment, including the development of natural resources, debt management, public sector reform, health and education, as well as gender equality.
“It’s a great pleasure for me to begin work here at the Commonwealth Secretariat,” said Mr. Smith, who succeeds Winston Cox of Barbados in the post.
The first Jamaican to serve as a Commonwealth Deputy-Secretary General, Mr. Smith is a career diplomat, with 30 years of outstanding service in the public and foreign services. He previously served as Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce and Technology and the Ministry of Industry and Investment.
Mr. Smith’s diplomatic career has included postings at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington DC, as well as the Jamaican Mission to the United Nations in New York. He was formerly the Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations and its specialised agencies in Geneva, Rome and Vienna.
Mr Smith was also ambassador of Jamaica to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and served as ambassador to a number of European countries.