Sir Julian Robert Hunte, KCMG, CSL, OBE
Former Cabinet Minister and Diplomat, Saint Lucia
Sir Julian Robert Hunte, KCMG, CSL, OBE (born 14 March 1940 in Castries) was the foreign minister of Saint Lucia from April 2001 to 26 October 2004.
He is the Permanent Representative (or Ambassador) for Saint Lucia to the United Nations, after presenting his credentials to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 7 December 2004. Hunte was also the President of the United Nations General Assembly during its 58th regular session (2003–2004).
Early life and education
Julian Robert Hunte was born on 14 March 1940 in Saint Lucia. Educated in Saint Lucia, Sir Julian has undertaken extensive studies in Business Administration and Accounts.
Hunte, who has extensive experience in the multilateral process, and a keen interest in the issues of regional cooperation and the role of small states within the United Nations, was Saint Lucia's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1998 to 2001. During this time, he served as Chairman of the Special Committee on Decolonisation, formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. He has participated in various international summits and conferences convened by the United Nations, including the 2000 Millennium Summit, the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development, in Monterrey, for which he served as Vice-President, and the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, to which he led his country's delegation.
At the regional level, Sir Julian has provided leadership for standing bodies of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 2002 and 2003, he served as Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations, responsible for coordinating foreign policy matters among CARICOM member states. In 2001, he was entrusted with carrying out CARICOM's diplomatic initiatives to bring about a resolution to the political and economic challenges facing the Republic of Haiti. He has led several CARICOM missions to Haiti and has also participated in joint CARICOM/Organization of American States (OAS) missions to that country. From 1991 to 1998, Sir Julian served as founder and Chairman of the Standing Conference of Popular Democratic Parties of the Eastern Caribbean (SCOPE), an alliance of political parties of Eastern Caribbean States having common aims and ideologies for national political development.
Hunte's career as a political activist and politician spans more than thirty-five years. Entering Saint Lucia's politics in 1967, he served first as a City Councillor and, from 1970 to 1971, as Mayor of his home city of Castries. Joining the Labour Party in 1978, he became its Vice Chairman and chaired its reorganising committee. In 1984, he became the Party Leader and was elected to Parliament in 1987, serving as Leader of the Opposition until 1996. In 2001, he was appointed to the Senate of Saint Lucia and was invited by the Prime Minister to join the Cabinet that same year.
Hunte stood for election in the constituency of Gros Islet in the general election of 11 December 2006, but lost to Lenard Montoute of the United Workers Party (UWP).
In the Government of Saint Lucia, Sir Julian has held a number of key positions in national development planning and implementation, most notably as Chair of the Saint Lucia National Development Corporation, the country's principal development agency and investors' link to relevant Government ministries. Hunte has also served as Director of the Saint Lucia Development Bank and the National Commercial Bank of Saint Lucia. Other national development programmes and initiatives to which he has provided leadership and direction include the Saint Lucia Model Farms Limited and Halcyon Days Hotel Limited, managers of a major resort facility owned in part by the Government of Saint Lucia, and he has served as Chairman of the Insurance Advisory Council of Saint Lucia and Director of the Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Company.
An advocate of labour rights and fair labour standards, Sir Julian has also been active in the trade union movement, serving as President of the National Workers Union, as Treasurer of the Saint Lucia Seamen and Waterfront General Workers Trade Union and as an executive member of the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association.
In his business career, Sir Julian is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Julian R. Hunte Group of Companies, with a network of agencies dealing with insurance, real estate and packaging and storage.
In support of culture and the arts, Sir Julian co-founded and chaired for two decades the Saint Lucia National Trust, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to identifying and preserving the historical and cultural legacy of Saint Lucia. He has served in various capacities with many other organisations, holding, among others, the post of President of the Saint Lucia Mental Health Association.
An avid sports enthusiast, Sir Julian has participated in the game of cricket both as a national player and as an administrator at the national, regional and international levels. He has served as President of the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association and of the Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control, and as Vice-President of the West Indies Cricket Board, which he has represented on the International Cricket Council, the institution responsible for international governance of the game.
Honours and awards
In June 1979, Sir Julian was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), in recognition of his dedicated service to the Government and people of Saint Lucia.
In 2014, Sir Julian was named Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year’s honour list for services to the public and private sector in St. Lucia, and to the Commonwealth Caribbean community.
Sir Julian is married to Charlotte Elizabeth Jennifer Hunte (nee Clarke) and has four children.