OIC Gambia trains protocol officers

OIC Gambia trains protocol officers

By Cherno Omar Bobb

Ahead of the successful hosting of the 15th Heads of State Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Banjul, the OIC Gambia Secretariat on Saturday concluded a 3-day training for 159 protocol officers.

In his remarks, Alagie Ousman Ceesay, Chief of Protocol of The Gambia, reminded that being a protocol requires humility and therefore urged protocol officers to be humble at all times.

“The task given to us is very sensitive. You will be the eye of the VVIPs and must be observant at all times. Do not force yourself to approach the VVIP. Dedicate yourself to the responsibility that you are assigned.” he told participants.

The work of protocol, he added, requires sacrifice, further reminding that everything starts at the Airport, a critical spot as the first point of call.

“We have to ensure professionalism is applied at all times to make the VVIPs safe and comfortable. From now on, you should start being ambassadors of the OIC, whatever we do must be in conformity with the rules and regulations of the OIC.”

He urged participants to be punctual and always on time in ensuring that all that is required by the VVIPs and delegates are made available for them.

He also urged them to ensure the safety of the VVIPs and delegates and stay at that their assigned locations.

Ambassador Essa Bokar Sey described the protocol officers as the window, curtain and door of the nation, saying their first impression is the best part of what people can use to judge particularly the VVIPs and delegations coming for the summit.

He further described protocol officers as doctors without shrines and soldiers without guns.

“Being a protocol officer means you are representing The Gambia in person, in character, attitude and behaviour.”

He thus called for exemplary character display especially being presentable as they are expected to sell The Gambia.

“We can sell The Gambia even without talking but just by the way you look and behave,” he further told trainees.

Cherno Ceesay, a protocol officer for the 15th OIC Summit, said the feeling of being part of the protocol team for the summit, is exciting in view of the fact that as a student studying Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the University of The Gambia, the experience at the summit will give him another opportunity to learn the theories that they are taught in the classroom.

“So, I look forward to learning good practices and how diplomacy and etiquette works especially in a formal setting.” he added.


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