…to do credit to my nation where ever I go.

Diplomacy and Development

The foreign policy of a newly independent Barbados (30 November 1966) emerged against a background of stability and continuity. There was no dramatic reactionary departures, no radical shifts in alliances, no bitter repudiation of the past. Barbados came to independence  with a quiet confidence in its ability to manage its own affairs, with a healthy and fraternal relationship with its closest neighbours with whom It had previously sought political union, and with a clear understanding of its place in the hemisphere.

Evolution of a Barbadian Foreign Policy

Immediately upon attainment of independence, Barbados moved to established formal diplomatic relations with its traditional allies and major trading partners in the developed world, and with its independent Caribbean neigbours. Diplomatic relations with the United States of America, Canada, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and India were in effect formalized on 30 November 1966. Relations with Members of States of the European Economic Community were also entered into in the early years of independence.

Barbados was admitted to the Commonwealth upon independence and gained admission to the United Nations on 9 December 1966. By the following year it had joined the Organisation of American States. Membership of the Inter-American Development Bank (1969), the International Monetary Fund (1970), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1972), the major Specialised Agencies of the U.N. and the O.A.S followed shortly, as Barbados sought to obtain the concessionary financing and technical cooperation necessary to assist in its development effort.

Within the Caribbean, an independent Barbados continued to demonstrate its commitment to the goal of Caribbean integration. Barbados jointed Antigua, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago to launch the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA) which came into effect in 1968. Barbados played an ative role in the upgrading of CARIFTA in to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) of which it became a founder member in July 1973.

Establishment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs originally named the Ministry of External Affairs was established as a separate entity from 1 April 1967. Prior to that date, External affairs was administered as a division of the Office of the Prime Minister, which was responsible for External Affairs.

The Ministry first occupied Government Headquarters at Bay Street from 1966 – 1972. In December 1972 to September 1985, the Ministry was relocated to Marine House. In October 1985, it relocated to its present location, No. 1 Culloden Road.

The first missions to be established overseas were Washington DC, the United Kingdom and Canada, resident Missions were later established in Caracas (1974), Trinidad and Tobago (1983) and Grenada (1984) (now closed).