Antigua & Barbuda’s top diplomat in Canada is leaving the Foreign Service to join the United Nations.
Janil Greenaway, the consul general in Toronto for the past 34 months, has been appointed the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) team manager of inter-governmental affairs and coherence based in New York. She takes up her new job on Monday.
The Bureau of External Relations & Advocacy (BERA) is responsible for the UNDP’s external relations and advocacy functions. The bureau consists of four clusters, one of which is multilateral affairs and coherence.
The cluster comprises three teams, including the inter-governmental affairs unit to be headed by Greenaway, who will be responsible for developing detailed strategies to reflect the UNDP’s desired position on issues related to UN reform and coherence, both in inter-governmental and inter-agency fora, supporting the cluster leader in coordinating UNDP interactions in inter-governmental and inter-agency fora to ensure that the UNDP’s interests are best represented.
Greenaway is looking forward to the new challenge.
Prior to coming to Toronto, she was Antigua & Barbuda’s lead delegate on the executive board that is also a BERA cluster.
“I was very active on that board and very involved in the strategic planning process back then,” she said. “In my new role, I will be working on the organization’s new strategic plan that will take effect next year.”
The outgoing diplomat said she relished serving her government in Canada. She was also responsible for serving nationals in provinces where they reside.
“It was a very fulfilling and interesting tour of duty,” said Greenaway. “It was an immensely rewarding experience in many ways, including the opportunities I had to interact with our communities of nationals across Canada. One of the highlights was Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer’s visit to Toronto last November. It was his first official visit in his second term and his first visit here in nearly six years. He wanted to reach out to the Diaspora here and the interactions he had with nationals were extremely good.”
In addition to the standard consular services, Greenaway used her office and resources to promote Antigua & Barbuda as a country for nationals and Canadians to invest. She also promoted the Caribbean nation’s writers and artists, including filmmaker, Melissa Gomez, whose first full-length documentary, Silent Music, premiered at last year’s Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto and writer, Althea Prince, who launched her new book, In the Black, last January.
“Our people are very talented and they can be found in many parts of the world,” said Greenaway. “I was delighted to play a part in helping them promote their work whenever I got that opportunity.”
Greenaway singled out hoisting the Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League symbol of supremacy, as another high point of her diplomatic career in the city.
Last May, Toronto resident Shawn Gore – whose parents were born in Antigua – brought the Cup to the New Dawn Moravian Church that he attends. The slot back is a member of the British Columbia Lions that won the 2011-12 Grey Cup.
“Holding the Grey Cup was a special moment for me, but what was even more fulfilling was that a young man of Antiguan & Barbudan heritage had played a part in winning that championship,” said Greenaway. “One of the things that was important for me when I came here was to reach out to the young people of the islands’ heritage. Shawn is a leader and role model that we are very proud of.”
Prior to coming to Toronto, Greenaway was Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister Counsellor at the UN for five years. That was her first diplomatic assignment.
After graduating from the University of the West Indies with a political science degree, Greenaway spent four years as a writer and later associate editor with the defunct Sun Printing & Publishing Company.
A talented actress, she was cast in The Sweetest Mango, the first feature film to emerge from the Eastern Caribbean that was released in 2001. The movie made history by being the biggest grossing film ever to show in Antigua & Barbuda.
Greenaway, who was a runner-up in the 1997 Miss Antigua & Barbuda pageant, holds a Master’s in International Affairs and a graduate certificate in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.
Her replacement will be named shortly.