FICAC Delegation embarked on a remarkable journey starting in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 25, 2023. The President of FICAC, the President Emeritus of FICAC, Hon. Mehmut Aykut Eken and the Dubrovnik University (Croatia) Rector, Prof. Dr. Nikša Burum, signed, in the Presence of Consul General Hon. Dr. Ivana Zerec a Memorandum of Understanding for Collaboration to establish Cooperative Relations in the fields of International Diplomacy, Economy and Finance.
Agreement with the Nişantaşı University
The delegation’s moved to Nişantaşı University, where the President of FICAC, Hon. Nikolaos K. Margaropoulos alongside the University’s Rector, Prof. Dr. Şenay Yalçın signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in presence of President Emeritus, and other directors. This agreement symbolized a crucial step towards strengthening collaboration between FICAC and the university, to establish cooperative Relations between the two entities in the area of International Economy, Law and Energy.
Following the MOU signing, a delightful lunch was hosted by Nişantaşı University, providing an opportunity for networking and building connections among the FICAC delegation, university officials, and other participants. The congenial atmosphere further facilitated fruitful discussions and laid the groundwork for future cooperation.
Art Exhibition and Charity Auction: “Healing through Art”, Pera Museum in Tepebaşı, Istanbul
Later in the day, the Women in Diplomacy, Culture, and Art Committees organized an inspiring event titled “Art Exhibition and Charity Auction: Healing through Art” at the prestigious Pera Museum in Tepebaşı, Istanbul which was originally planned for February 12, 2023, the event was postponed due to the catastrophic earthquake that struck Turkey. However, the rescheduled date, May 25, 2023, saw an outpouring of support from participants and attendees.
The primary objective of the exhibition and auction was to promote gender equality and raise funds for scholarships benefiting girls. A distinguished selection of talented and globally recognized women artists generously donated their artwork for this noble cause. Their diverse expressions and styles enriched the exhibition, showcasing the transformative power of art.
During the event, President of FICAC, Hon. Nikolaos K. Margaropoulos, addressed the dignitaries and guests, expressing profound gratitude to the artists, organizers, sponsors, and all attendees who contributed to the success of this unique and impressive occasion. Hon. Margaropoulos also extended his appreciation to the bidders who purchased artwork during the auction, recognizing their pivotal role in supporting the cause.
Special recognition was given to Hon. Gönul Oray Eken, Hon. Nathalie Mimoun, and Hon. Erol Makzume from the Women in Diplomacy, Culture, and Art Committees of FICAC for their commendable efforts in organizing this exceptional event and to Hon. Mehmut Aykut Eken for generously sponsoring the event. Their hard work and dedication were acknowledged, and they were requested to continue to organise similar events in the future, promoting cultural exchange and philanthropic efforts.
The FICAC Pan African Conference, 2023
On May 26 the HCCGH hosted an evening reception for the delegates. FICAC BoD was represented by Vice- President Hon. Asif Chowdhurry and Secretary General Hon. Purrshottam Bhaggeria.
On May 27 was the official inauguration of 2023 FICAC Regional Conference for Honorary Consuls on the African Continent at Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel, Accra, Ghana.
Events begun with the registration of the guests followed by high tea networking session.
During the first half of the event, World Bank Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone Mr. Pierre Laporte, HCCGH DeanEmeritus and Past Vice President of FICAC Hon. Amarkai Amarteifio, Dean of Honorary Consular Corps of Ghana Hon. Dimitri Avraam, and New Zealand Consul for Ghana Hon. Nicholina Annor – Adjei, who delivered impactful speeches, further enriching the gathering.
H.E. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, highlighted the crucial role played by honorary consuls in today’s dynamic global context of diplomacy and international relations. She emphasized that the involvement of non-state actors, including honorary consuls, has become essential due to the rapidly evolving global environment. H.E. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey acknowledged the invaluable support provided by honorary consuls in managing the complex and multifaceted challenges of intergovernmental relations, particularly in facilitating economic opportunities that benefit countries and their citizens.
Echoing similar sentiments, H.E. Maher Kheir, the Ambassador of Lebanon to Ghana and the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, upheaved the vital role played by honorary consuls in assisting countries in effectively managing various issues arising from intergovernmental relations. He emphasized that the involvement of honorary consuls ultimately benefits states and their citizens, contributing to stronger diplomatic ties and fostering mutual cooperation.
Hon. Nikolaos K. Margaropoulos, the President of FICAC (World Federation of Consuls), addressed the esteemed gathering during the opening of the 1st FICAC Pan African Conference in Accra. He expressed sincere gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for gracing the event, emphasizing the significance of her presence, which accentuated the importance of FICAC’s collective mission. Hon. Margaropoulos took the opportunity to introduce and highlight the achievements of FICAC over the past years. In his speech, President Hon. Margaropoulos emphasized that pressing global issues, such as climate change, economic disparities, and political unrest, demand collective attention and action. He stressed the vital role of honorary consuls in addressing these global challenges, emphasizing their ability to contribute to resolving such issues through their diplomatic efforts and dedication.
The speeches delivered by the esteemed guests not only highlighted the critical role of honorary consuls in today’s diplomatic landscape but also emphasized the significance of collaborative efforts in addressing global issues and achieving collective goals. Their insights further underscored the importance of FICAC’s mission and the role it plays in promoting effective diplomatic relations worldwide.
Following the lunch break, the second half of the FICAC Pan African Conference commenced with a ground-breaking training session, marking a historic moment in FICAC’s journey. The session began with opening remarks delivered by Secretary General Hon. Purrshottam Bhaggeria, setting the stage for an informative and enriching experience.
Training session was organized as an integral part of the conference. Honorary consuls from various parts of the world had the unique opportunity to receive valuable training from esteemed directors of FICAC. The directors and their respective topics were as follows:
Hon. Dr. Marko Smole (Slovenia): FICAC Director – Topic: The role of the Honorary Consul in the 21st century
Hon. Prof. Stelio Campanale (Italy): FICAC Director – Topic: The Honorary Consul’s duties, Security, and Consular privileges
Hon. Kwame Acquah (Ghana): FICAC Director – Topic: FICAC Expansion in Africa
Hon. Dr. M.I. Baig (Pakistan): FICAC Director – Topic: The role of FICAC and the Honorary Consuls in Trade Development
Hon. Louis Vella (USA): FICAC Director – Topic: The value of training for Honorary Consuls
This training session aimed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of honorary consuls in fulfilling their diplomatic roles. The topics covered a wide range of subjects, including consular functions, best practices in diplomacy, and the evolving landscape of international relations. The directors, who are renowned experts in their respective fields, shared their expertise and practical insights, ensuring that the attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Following the training session, there was a round of questions-and-answers masterfully moderated by the Hon. Subhi Accad, Vice-Dean of the HCCGH,which provided an interactive platform for participants to seek clarification and delve deeper into the subject matter. This segment fostered an engaging and collaborative learning environment, encouraging dialogue and the exchange of ideas among the honorary consuls.
The training session concluded with detailed answers to all the questions asked during the Q&A session, followed by closing remarks delivered by the President of FICAC, Hon. Margaropoulos. His remarks reflected on the significance of the training sessions to equip honorary consuls with the necessary tools and knowledge to contribute effectively to their diplomatic endeavours.
President Hon. Margaropoulos expressed his appreciation for the active participation of the attendees and highlighted the importance of continuous professional development and collaboration within the FICAC community.
After having the privilege of listening to distinguished speakers and attending important training sessions during the day, the Honorary Consular Corps Ghana (HCCGH) organized a Gala Soiree.
The gala soirée provided an opportunity to the Honorary Consuls from across the globe to mingle, dance, and make memories to last a lifetime.
The gala soirée provided an opportunity to the Honorary Consuls from across the globe to mingle, dance, and make memories to last a lifetime.
The guest speaker for the night was the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco and Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors in Ghana, Her Excellency Dr. Imane Quaadill, who captivated the audience with her inspiring words and deep insights into the importance of diplomatic engagement.
During the event, the opportunity was given not only to socialize with esteemed guests from the diplomatic community and various other fields but also to enjoy the unique experience of the vibrant dancing culture of Ghana.
On May 28, 2023, the delegates of the FICAC Pan African Conference, accompanied by their spouses/partners, embarked on an unforgettable day trip to Ada Foah. This remarkable excursion was meticulously organized by Hon. Nassib Akil, with support from Hon. Subhi Accad and Hon. Ghassan Yared. The highlight of the day was an enchanting all-white beach party held at Hon. Nassib Akil’s beach house, situated in the scenic coastal town of Ada Foah. The picturesque surroundings provided a tranquil and visually stunning backdrop for the gathering, creating a serene atmosphere that fostered camaraderie, unity, and collaboration among the delegates. The event offered more than just an opportunity for socializing; it served as a platform for valuable networking and knowledge exchange. Delegates engaged in meaningful conversations, sharing insights and experiences, while forging new connections and strengthening existing relationships. The trip created an environment conducive to building bridges and fostering collaboration among consular representatives from different countries and regions.
The hosts, Hon. Nassib Akil, Hon. Subhi Accad, and Hon. Ghassan Yared, went above and beyond to ensure an enjoyable experience for all participants. They thoughtfully curated the event, ensuring that delegates immersed themselves in the local culture, sampled traditional cuisine, and appreciated the area’s rich heritage. The day trip offered a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse Ghanaian culture, leaving a lasting impression on the delegates.
The President of FICAC, Hon. Nikolaos K. Margaropoulos, presided over the board meeting held at Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra, Ghana. The evening meeting witnessed the passing of multiple resolutions and the making of significant decisions regarding upcoming events and conferences.
Next day, on May 29, 2023 the delegation from the World Federation of Honorary Consuls (FICAC) visited His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (Asantahene). Delegation led by President Hon. Nikolaos Margaropoulos, honored the esteemed leader, and discussed collaboration and cooperation.
During the visit, the delegates had the privilege of presenting. His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (Asantahene). with a well-deserved citation. “This citation recognized his exemplary leadership, commitment to his people, and unwavering dedication to promoting peace, unity, and development within his kingdom and beyond.” It served as a testament to his remarkable contributions and invaluable role in advancing the welfare of his nation and the African continent as a whole.
The visit highlighted the importance of partnerships and mutual respect in promoting peace and progress. The FICAC delegates expressed gratitude to His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (Asantahene) for hosting them and left with a renewed commitment to advance FICAC’s mission in Africa.
Then in the evening the delegation was invited for the Barbeque & Music at the residence of Hon. Osei Bonsu, Honorary consul of Jamaica and his wife. It was a wonderful experience, and everyone had the opportunity to relax, enjoy and share memorable moments.
On the morning of May 30, 2023, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Chancellor and represented by the Provost of College Education, Prof. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, the delegation of FICAC Directors and Honorary Consuls led by the President of FICAC, Hon. Nikolaos Margarapoulos, the Secretary General, Hon. Purrshottam Bhaggeria and Dean, Hon Dimitrios Avraam and Executive Secretary, Hon Kwame Acquah of the HCCGH, in the campus of the University of Legon, a breath-taking outdoor recreational area that provides enjoyment for people of all ages.
During the visit, the FICAC delegation had the privilege of planting five trees of life and peace in the university gardens. These planted trees serve as a lasting representation of the momentous occasion, and their presence will forever preserve the memories created during this visit. The writing on the sign was: “TREES FOR PEACE, A CONTRIBUTION TO THE FUTURE, A COMMITMENT TO A GREEN GHANA”.
Hon. Ashok Ramchand Mohinani, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uruguay, hosted a delightful lunch at a heritage Indian restaurant to honor the FICAC delegation.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between FICAC and the University of Environmental and Sustainable Development, Somanya to establish cooperative relations between the two entities in order to enhance education, research, development, and knowledge transfer in the field of Environment and Sustainable development.
Later that day, H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was honored by the World Federation of Consuls, at the Jubilee House with the FICAC Gold Star for his exceptional contributions to the growth and sustenance of peace, democracy, stability, freedoms and his invaluable support to the Honorary Consuls in Ghana
The FICAC Gold Star was created as a mark of highest Honour and Distinction. It holds international recognition and is exclusively bestowed upon incumbent Heads of State. H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo expressed his gratitude for the award and commended the consular corps for their important work in bridging diplomatic gaps.
The 2023 FICAC Regional Conference for Honorary Consuls on the African Continent in Accra, Ghana, came to a successful conclusion on May 30, 2023. The conference served as a platform for fruitful discussions, valuable networking opportunities, and the exchange of ideas among esteemed honorary consuls. With its engaging sessions, insightful presentations, and interactive Training Sessions, the conference proved to be a significant milestone in strengthening diplomatic relations and promoting collaboration across the African continent. The participants departed with enhanced knowledge, renewed motivation, and a shared commitment to serving their respective nations and communities. As the curtains closed on this momentous/extraordinary event, the spirit of camaraderie and the bonds forged during the conference will continue to inspire honorary consuls in their diplomatic efforts, fostering sustainable growth and prosperity in the region.